New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought the response of the Centre on a PIL challenging an e-tender issued for empanelment of authorised local chemists under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) for the national capital area.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued a notice to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and sought its reply to the plea by July 9, the next date of hearing.
The bench also said that the outcome of the tender process, for the financial years 2018-21, shall be subject to further orders on the writ petition.
The court said it was the government’s responsibility to notify all bidders about the petition and orders passed.
The petitioner, Inder Lal Marwah, has contended that the new tender, issued in January this year, has done away with the distance requirement as an eligibility criteria for empanelment of authorised local chemists for CGHS centres in Delhi.
Marwah, in his plea filed through advocate J C Vashista, has said that earlier there was a requirement that a chemist shop be located within five km distance of a wellness centre.
Later, the criteria was modified to the extent that the shop be located in the same zone as the wellness centre, the plea has said.
It has claimed that complete removal of the distance requirement “would adversely affect the availability of emergency medicines required by wellness centre(s) or beneficiaries who are in dire need of said drug”.
The plea has also said that removing the distance criteria is “bound to increase mal-practices and sub-letting of the indented medicines drugs from empanelled chemists”.
“It will also increase the time limit for making available the emergency medicines/drug(s) which are not available at a wellness centre,” it has also said.