In a meaningful gesture, the High Court of Jharkhand Last week, the state’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) ordered strict monitoring of black drug marketing and charging additional fees for beds in hospitals, both private and government.
A divisional bench composed of Chief Justice Ravi Ranjan and Judge Sujit Narayan Prasad heard the suo moto procedure initiated to take stock of the state government’s readiness to deal with the COVID emergency.
The judiciary issued this order after finding that the district and the police administration had not fulfilled their mission of controlling the black marketing of life-saving drugs like Remdesivir Injection, etc.
It is important to note that, heavily attacking the Drugs Controller (for the state of Jharkhand) for his failure to perform his duties and to curb black marketing of life-saving drugs, the High Court of Jharkhand had recently called it “unfortunate” that she sought exemption from personal appearance in court.
COVID19: “Black Marketing of Life-Saving Drugs”: Jharkhand HC Raps’ Drugs Controller calls on government to ensure adequate supply of medicine and oxygen
Comments from Director (Drugs) / State Government
- Necessary steps are being taken to increase the supply of Favipiravir tablets and the department is monitoring the supply and allocation of Remdesivir, Favipiravir and other drugs commonly used for Covid-19 patients.
- The State is taking the necessary measures to put a stop to the black market marketing of these drugs
- An oversight committee has been formed under the Joint Director (Drugs) made up of three drug inspectors to monitor the availability of stocks and proper distribution of Favipiravir tablets and other drugs commonly used for Covid-19.
- The state government has formed a working group led by the Director (Industries) where the Director (Drugs) is also appointed member secretary to ensure the increase in the production, distribution and supply of medical oxygen. to all intensive care beds and oxygen beds for Covid-19. the patients.
- The supply of Favipiravir tablets is carried out at the most important pharmacies in every district of the state, as well as in places where the general public is easier to locate and reach.
Observations of the Court
Initially, the Court expressed concern about the televising of a news clip, in which a person was seen earning Rs 1 10,000 / – by selling the injection of “Remdesivir” through black marketing.
In the video, the black merchant revealed that he used to give 3,000 rupees / – to the drug inspector, 10,000 rupees / – to the agents of the national health mission and that money was also passed on to other levels to procure the said injection to sell on the open market through black marketing.
In addition, the court asked the state government that when a system had been adopted by the drug department to provide the injection of remdesivir strictly to hospitals on the basis of the online requisition, then how did the black merchant obtain the said injection to sell it in the market free?
“… OThe only conclusion this Court must come to is that there are serious flaws in the so-called process developed by the Jharkhand State Department of Drug Control., added the Court.
Importantly, the Court sternly observed,
“The question is what do the district administration and the police administration do if such a thing happens which clearly suggests that the district and the police administration did not fulfill their duties. “
The Court also noted that when the news channel can apprehend a black merchant through an undercover operation, then why can’t it be done by the district and the police administration?
This Court has seen fit to give the following directions:
- The Chief Superintendent of Police / Investigative Agency is responsible for producing the up-to-date progress of the investigation in the sealed envelope in this Court at the next hearing date along with the statement of confession, if any. the person or persons apprehended. .
- The state’s Department of Criminal Investigations (CID) was tasked with taking up the case in order to maintain strict oversight of the black marketing of drugs and to charge additional fees for beds in both private and government hospitals. and take appropriate legal action. in accordance with the law against persons involved in such activities.
- The deputy commissioner, the chief superintendent of police and the superintendent of police of the different districts are responsible for providing full cooperation and coordination to the staff of the CID in combating the situation of black marketing.
- In accordance with the requisition made to the central government to meet the supply and demand for Covid-19 drugs in accordance with the requisition made on 04/15/2021, the central government is responsible for reviewing the matter and speeding it up.
- Relevant authorities such as director (industries) and other officers related to hospital management, such as deputy district commissioner, director (drugs), joint director (drug controller) and other relevant officers are responsible for working in coordination to respond to the situation resulting from the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic.
- Authorities are responsible for making all sincere efforts to meet the supply and demand of drugs for patients in hospitals and in home isolation throughout the state district as well as to balance the supply of oxygen. both in hospitals and for people getting treatment in isolation at home statewide.
- The deputy commissioner of each district is responsible for monitoring the situation with the civil surgeon of the districts concerned.
Finally, the Director (Drugs) assured the Court that all measures would be taken to allow medical stores to sell drugs such as Favipiravir or Fluguard on the basis of the prescription made by the doctor. taking measures to prevent the illegal sale of these drugs in order to avoid hoarding of these drugs.
The case has now been released for a rehearing on May 6.
Click here to download the order