Bombay High Court allows sale of two cold/cough drugs until Central Government reviews ban

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The Bombay High Court recently continued the stay on a notification issued by the Central Government, banning manufacture for sale, sale and distribution for human use, of two drugs, commonly used for treating cold/ cough.

A division bench of Ranjit More and Justice Sadhana Jadhav restrained the government from taking any coercive action against Adonis Laboratories, and its dealers and stockist, which sell the medicine, Coldaid and syrup Servil.

The petitioners had approached the high court, challenging a March 10, 2016, notification under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, banning the manufacture and sale of these drugs. The notification had banned 344 drugs. Several companies had challenged the notification in different courts, which were set aside as principles of natural justice were not followed.

The government had then moved an appeal in the Apex court, which upheld the notification, but asked the government to review the case of the banned drugs, by the Drug Technical Advisory Board.

Advocate Mohamedali M Chunawala, appearing for the Union Government, informed the bench about the apex court order and said that the petitioners’ medicines will also be reviewed by the board. To which the court said “It is clear that the petitioner’s drug would also be reviewed by the sub-committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr Nilima Kshirsagar. In that view of the matter, both learned counsel appearing for the respective parties fairly concede that the grievance raised in the petition, no more survives.”

Accordingly, the court disposed of the petition filed by the company and it remained status quo, as ordered earlier, until the committee completed the review. The company in its petition had claimed that the notification is wholly illegal, invalid and void. The notification is passed in gross violation of principles of natural justice. The sudden ban of the drugs would not only have an impact on the company, but also on the general public, which consumes it.

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