HC: Raid chemists, man­u­fac­tures to check over­pric­ing, qual­ity of sani­tis­ers, masks

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - HTSPOTLIGH­T - HT Corre­spon­dent let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH : The high court has di­rected gov­ern­ments of Pun­jab and Haryana and Chandi­garh ad­min­is­tra­tion to con­duct raids at chemist shops and drug man­u­fac­tur­ers to as­cer­tain qual­ity of sani­tis­ers and masks be­ing sold in view of Covid-19 out­break and also whether their pric­ing is as per the no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

The high court bench of jus­tice Amol Rat­tan Singh is­sued these suo motu di­rec­tions while hearing a pe­ti­tion from a Hisar med­i­cal firm booked un­der the Es­sen­tial Com­modi­ties Act for al­legedly cheat­ing peo­ple by sell­ing a dis­in­fec­tant as sani­tiser for which it did not have li­cence.

The March 21 no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the Cen­tre stip­u­lates that all hand sani­tis­ers shall not be priced at more than ₹100 per 200 ml. The court ob­served that most com­pa­nies man­u­fac­tur­ing and sell­ing hand sani­tis­ers, even af­ter March 21, 2020, are show­ing the max­i­mum re­tail price of such prod­ucts to be far above fixed by the gov­ern­ment.

Hence, court di­rected ad­di­tional chief sec­re­taries/ prin­ci­pal sec­re­taries/sec­re­taries of the de­part­ments of health, and food and supplies of both the states and Chandi­garh, to have ‘raids’ con­ducted at chemist shops and man­u­fac­tur­ing units, to ob­tain sam­ples of hand sani­tis­ers/hand dis­in­fec­tants man­u­fac­tured af­ter March 2020. Ac­tion be ini­ti­ated against the man­u­fac­turer or chemist, whoso­ever is vi­o­lat­ing the no­ti­fi­ca­tion, if the MRP is found higher than fixed by the gov­ern­ment, the court said.

The court also ob­served that a large num­ber of brands of face masks are of sub-stan­dard qual­ity. “Where even while ty­ing the masks, the strings at­tached break off im­me­di­ately, thereby mak­ing the masks un­us­able. Con­se­quently, in the ‘raids’ to be con­ducted, boxes of masks/in­di­vid­ual masks shall also be col­lected and if found to be of sub-stan­dard qual­ity, pro­ceed­ings as per law shall be taken against all con­cerned,” the court or­dered.

The of­fi­cers have been asked to file per­sonal af­fi­davits on July 6 on the raids con­ducted and the re­sults. Fur­ther, the court also di­rected the lawyers as­so­ci­ated with the case to im­me­di­ately in­form chief sec­re­taries of both the states and UT ad­viser so that com­pli­ance is en­sured.

OF­FI­CERS OF PUN­JAB, HARYANA AND UT HAVE BEEN ASKED TO FILE PER­SONAL AF­FI­DAVITS ON JULY 6 ON THE RAIDS AND THE RE­SULTS

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