High Court Sets Aside FDAs Move To Prosecute Doctor

High Court Sets Aside FDAs Move To Prosecute Doctor

Aurangabad, 26 Dec 2017: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court has quashed and set aside the orders of the food and drug department, which had initiated action against a doctor on the charges of conniving with a pharmacist and selling drugs from a store without a valid license.


Pragati Medical and General Stores, located at Tongaon of Bhadgaon of Jalgaon, was subjected to an inspection by the FDA on October 11, 2012. The FDA had found that the pharmacy’s proprietor Nitin Shankarrao Patil was absent. Subsequently, a show cause notice was served to him. Unsatisfied by the response to the notice, on December 4, 2012, the licensing authority cancelled the licence. The store was being run from a rented premises owned by Dr Dilip Pundalik Patil.


However, on December 27, 2012, the FDA, conducted another inspection and found an employee of the same pharmacy selling medicines. Lodging a case under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, the FDA booked Shankarrao Patil, Dr Pundalik Patil and the pharmacy’s employee on charges of selling drugs in connivance with each other.


Representing Dr Patil, lawyer Naseem Shaikh contested that Dr Patil was not connected with the pharmacy. Barring the fact that the premises was let out to pharmacy, there was no other evidence that the business was conducted in connivance with each other. He also submitted that the prescription relied upon by the prosecution did not show the name of the examining doctor nor the name of the patient.


Meanwhile, Shankarrao Patil appealed before the secretary of Drug and Cosmetic and Medical Education Department, Mantralaya, Mumbai, challenging the FDA order and a stay was granted to the order of licence cancellation.


The lawyer also pointed out that the FDA inspector did not have the requisite qualification for the post of drug inspector, and, therefore, had no authority to initiate prosecution.


The HC concluded: Analyzing the factual matrix of the matter as stated herein above, there is no justification for initiating prosecution against the applicant. It would be abuse of process of law to continue the said prosecution. The order of process and proceedings are therefore liable to be quashed and set aside.