The Supreme Court has remarked that the Bihar Government and the Bihar State Pharmacy Council cannot be permitted to play with the health and life of the citizen as it noted that it is the duty cast upon the Pharmacy Council and the State Government to see that the hospitals and medical stores are not run by the fake pharmacists but by the registered pharmacists only.
The top court noted that the petitioner has raised serious allegations against the Bihar State Pharmacy Council and the State of Bihar for not taking any action with respect to the fake pharmacists or running the Government’s hospitals. A bench of justice MR Shah and MM Sundresh in its order delivered on Tuesday said, “The State Government and the Bihar State Pharmacy Council cannot be permitted to play with the health and life of the citizens.” Under the provisions of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 as well as the Pharmacy Practice Regulations, 2015, it is the duty cast upon the Pharmacy Council and the State Government to see that the hospitals and medical stores, etc., are not run by the fake pharmacist and are run by the registered pharmacist only, the court pointed out in its order copy.
The top court observed that the manner in which the High Court has disposed of the public interest litigation – a writ petition ventilating the very serious grievances touching the health and life of the citizen is disapproved. “The High Court has failed to exercise the powers vested in it under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. The impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court disposing of the writ petition are unsustainable,” The apex court said quashing the Patna High Court order dated December 9, 2019. Patna High Court on December 9 in 2019 disposed of the public interest litigation filed by one Mukesh Kumar seeking to pass appropriate direction to the respondent authorities not to allow any person other than a registered Pharmacist to compound, prepare, mix or dispense any medicine on the prescription of any medical practitioner.
The petitioner pointed out that the persons in various governments hospitals are not registered Pharmacists and allegedly have been allowed to discharge the function of a Pharmacist in as much as at some places, even the clerks, ANMs, staff nurses etc. have been assigned the duty to be performed only by a registered Pharmacist.
“Serious allegations were made against the Bihar State Pharmacy Council and the State of Bihar for not taking any action with respect to fake pharmacists, running the Government’s hospitals and/or other hospitals without registered pharmacist and the in-action on the part of the Bihar State Pharmacy Council/State Government has resulted into the affected health of the citizen, the High Court ought to have called upon the Bihar State Pharmacy Council to file the status report on the allegations of fake pharmacist and/or on how many Governments’ hospitals/hospitals in the State are running without registered pharmacist,” The court said.
“Running the hospitals and dispensaries in the absence of any registered pharmacist and/or running such hospitals by the fake pharmacists and even running the medical stores by fake pharmacists without even any pharmacist will ultimately affect the health of the citizen. The State Government and the Bihar State Pharmacy Council cannot be permitted to play with the health and life of the citizen,” The court said.
The top court remanded back the matter to the High Court to consider the writ petition afresh after calling the detailed report from the State of Bihar and Bihar State Pharmacy Council on how many Governments hospitals, medical stores or private hospitals are being run either by a fake pharmacist or without registered pharmacists.