Shimla: In a move that may sicken the Department of Ayurved in the state, the High Court has taken cognizance of the purchase of medicines for Ayurvedic hospitals at a high price from outside the state. The court, further pronounced an order asking the state government to state the reasons behind the cited irregularities.

A bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma, while hearing a petition filed by the Himachal Pradesh Ayurvedic Manufacturing Association, directed the state to file their response alongwith an affidavit to the Ayurved Director by September 30.

In the petition it has been alleged that Director of Ayurved Department, misusing his powers bought medicines from companies outside the state.

According to the rules, the state has to purchase 70 percent of the required medicines from companies within the state and for rest of the medicines the government can go for companies outside the state. However, the director allegedly flouting the norms bought medicines worth Rs 8-9 crore.  

Giving clarification in this regard, it was stated that the medicines were bought with the Centre’s granted financial aid without overruling the rules laid by the Centre.

However, the petitioner has argued that there is no provision in the Central rules citing that the medicines can be bought only from companies based outside the state. As per the applicant, the purchase orders based on 2009 quotations were sent through fax. No tenders were invited in this regard. In addition the PIL stated the Director Ayurveda had no knowledge about the quality of drugs as he fulfill the qualifications required for a Director under Drugs and Cosmetics Rules.  

The petitioner has also pleaded to the court to direct the state government to hand over the investigation of the case of purchase of medicines done in 2010-2011 to an independent investigating agency.

(JPN/ Bureau)