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Prosecute manufacturers, vendors of ORs products: State HC

Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court division bench comprising of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice CV Bhaskar Reddy on Thursday heard the public interest litigation filed by Dr M Sivaranjani Santosh who alleged that the inaction of the Central and State governments’ authorities to take any steps for implementation of the order passed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

The petitioner further alleged that with regard to misleading, false and offensive advertisements and marketing of ORS substitute products in spite of the representation made herein, as illegal and arbitrary and violative of Articles 14, 21, and 47 of the Constitution of India, 1950 and provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and the Rules, Regulations and directions issued there under.

Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan questioned that ORS is a drug? Counsel for the petitioner, MV Durga Prasad informed the bench that it’s a drug and in fact it is treated as a 20th century wonder drug. Counsel Durga Prasad submitted before the Court to direct the concerned Central and State governments’ authorities to prosecute the manufacturers and vendors of ORS products, which are not in accordance with Clause 27 of Schedule K of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945 or those products sold with misleading, labelling and packaging under sections 52, 53 & 55 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Section 27 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Section 7 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954.

Further, the petitioner counsel submitted that to direct Government Authorities to ensure the term ‘ORS’ is not used in the labelling, marketing or advertising of any ORS substitute products and ensure strict compliance of section 18(f) of FSSAI Act by all the manufactures, dealers, sellers and media platforms, etc., dealing with the ORS substitutes, by mandating the manufacturers to disclose the WHO standards as approved by the regulatory authority in India under Clause 27 of Schedule K of the Drugs Rules, the second Respondent herein and certify that the product conforms the same, on their packaging and labeling prominently, for proper implementation of law and prevent the violation.

Moreover, the counsel contended that to prohibit the sale, exhibition or advertising of all such substitutes with misleading packs/labels and pass appropriate orders after hearing the petitioners, in the interest of public After hearing the contentions of the petitioner counsel, the Chief Justice bench issued notices to the respondent Union of India and State government authorities to furnish the counters with details.

The matter was adjourned to November 10 for further hearing.