How are high potency anti-cancer drugs easily available in the market without any licence or bill, putting people’s lives at risk, a special court has wondered, expressing serious concern.The issue cropped up when a pharma dealer, who did not have a licence and from whom such drugs worth over Rs 50 lakh were allegedly recovered, approached the court seeking anticipatory bail.
The court said it was matter of serious concern that such drugs were freely available, while also causing loss of revenue to the state exchequer. “It is hard to believe that such toxic/high potency anti- cancer drugs can be sold or purchased freely without any license or invoices in the open market, putting the lives of citizens at risk, as also causing loss of revenue to the state exchequer,” the court said.
Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Abhinav Pathak, director of Abhinav Biotech Pvt Ltd in Karol Bagh area of central Delhi from whom the drug inspector had allegedly seized drugs, which were stored without the requisite licence for distribution of allopathic drugs.
“Therefore, the custodial interrogation of the applicant would be required for ascertaining the fact, as to from whom and from where he had procured such huge amounts of anti- cancer drugs without any license and without any invoices, which is a matter of serious concern,” the court said.
The court said that prima facie an offence under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act was attracted towards the accused, which entails a maximum imprisonment of five years and a fine of Rs one lakh or three times the value of the confiscated drugs, whichever is more.
The drug inspector had carried out the inspection at the pharma dealer’s office on May 4. He informed the court that the value of the seized drugs was more than Rs 50 lakh and these costly medicines were used in the treatment of cancer patients. Pathak’s counsel claimed that he had already applied for licence from the drug authorities and sought anticipatory bail and said he was ready to join the investigation. The prosecutor, however, opposed the bail plea.