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Even after one year of SC directive, Madras HC yet to hold final hearing in controversial DCGI case

Ramesh Shankar, Mumbai
Thursday, August 8, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Even after one year since the Supreme Court's directive to the Madras High Court to decide the controversial DCGI case in two months' time, the Madras High Court is yet to hold the final hearing. The case has been pending in the court against the appointment of DCGI as per the new Recruitment Rule (RR), framed by the union health ministry way back in June 2011.

The High Court is yet to take up the case and a final date is to be fixed as the court is seized of more important issues, said Dilip Kumar, secretary of the Tamil Nadu branch Indian Pharmacy Graduates Association (IPGA), who filed the case in Madras High Court December, 2011 challenging the appointment of DCGI.

In fact, the case was supposed to come up for final hearing in the Madras High Court on February 5, as it was listed for that day. But the case did not come up so far due to various reasons including the transfer of judges dealing the case. Now, it may come up soon, possibly next week, Kumar said.

In July last year, the Supreme Court, while disposing of the contempt of court petition filed against the appointment of Dr GN Singh as DCGI, had directed the Madras High Court to decide the DCGI case pending there preferably in two months' time.

The union heath ministry's new recruitment rule (RR) is the bone of contention between the government and the petitioner. The IPGA secretary had challenged the health ministry's RR on the plea that the ministry has tailor-made the new rules to fit its nominee in the post of DCGI. As per the D&C Act, the required qualification for the post of DCGI is a degree in pharmacy, pharmaceutical chemistry or degree in medicine with specialization in clinical pharmacology or microbiology from a University established in India by law.

The qualifications framed in the new RR is not in consonance with Rule 49(A) and 50(A) of the Drugs & Cosmetics (D&C) Act, the petitioner argues and further says that the qualification clause in the D&C Rules does not demand a post graduate in Chemistry for DCGI post. But, the RR seeks applications from those who are possessing post graduate degree in chemistry, biochemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry in addition to the prescribed qualifications in the Act. The experience prescribed in advertisement is also in violation of the experience norms stipulated in the D&C Rules.


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