Chennai: The result in case of the ban on the online sale of medicines without a valid licence will soon be pronounced by the Madras High Court, as of now the court has reserved its verdict on a plea. The issue pertains to a petition moved by the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association against such sales.
Concluding the final hearing, Justice Puspha Sathyanarayana said she was reserving her orders on the petition. The petitioner wanted the court to direct the state to take action against such unauthorised traders and pull down their websites as illegal.
Online traders opposed the plea, contending that such sale was legal as many of them held valid licences.
On October 31, the court passed an interim order prohibiting online sale of medicines by unauthorised traders. It clarified that those with valid licences could continue the trade.
Further Madras High Court had allowed firms involved in an online sale of medicines to be impleaded in a petition seeking a ban on their business. Justice R Mahadevan, who had granted an interim stay on sale of medicines online by those not having required licence, impleaded the petitioners, including New Delhi-based 1MG Technologies Private Limited, as a party to the petition filed by the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association (TNCDA).
He impleaded the petitioners after hearing arguments by senior counsels for them and also the TNCDA and adjourned the matter to November 9 for further hearing.
However, in the last hearing, the state informed the court that it did not have the powers to pull down websites providing online sale of medicines in the absence of any Act or regulation prohibiting such sale.
“The Drugs and Cosmetics Act and rules which govern the trade is a central Act and the state has no role in amending the Act,” the counter said.
This apart, the Centre had published the draft rule to regulate the sale of drugs through e-pharmacy on August 28, seeking suggestions and objections from all the stakeholders,” it added.
This was under the central government’s consideration, the additional advocate general said.
“Therefore, unless there are any rules governing such sale, online sale of medicines cannot be regulated. What cannot be regulated, cannot be permitted. The Act recognises and permits only certain manner of sale particularly retail. Thus, the relief sought for is not maintainable at present,” the state said.