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Delhi High Court Sets Deadline for Government’s Drug Sale Policy

The Delhi High Court has issued a final ultimatum to the Centre, granting it eight weeks to formulate a policy on the online sale of drugs. The court expressed dissatisfaction with the prolonged delay, emphasizing that ample time had already elapsed for the Union of India to establish the necessary framework. The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Mini Pushkarna warned that if the order is not complied with within the stipulated eight weeks, the concerned joint secretary must appear before the court at the next hearing.

Long-standing Delay: The court noted that over five years had passed since the directive was issued, and it expected the government to expedite the formulation of the policy. Despite the government’s claim of ongoing consultations and deliberations on the 2018 draft notification related to online drug sales, the court emphasized the need for prompt action.

Background of the Case: The High Court was addressing a series of petitions urging a ban on the illicit online sale of drugs. These petitions also contested the draft rules proposed by the government to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules of 1945.

Previous Court Orders: In 2018, the Delhi High Court had issued an interim order instructing the government to take action against individuals involved in the online sale of drugs without a valid license. Subsequently, contempt petitions were filed against the government for its alleged failure to address the issue of non-compliant e-pharmacies.

The court’s insistence on a prompt policy formulation reflects its commitment to regulating the online sale of drugs and ensuring public safety in the pharmaceutical sector.*


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