Bhopal(Madhya Pradesh): The Supreme Court has granted interim relief to a dozen pharmacy institutions in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh who had been contesting the 5-year moratorium imposed by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) on opening new institutions.
The SC Bench directed PCI to accept and process applications for opening new pharmacy institutions, without taking the final decision on the same as an interim arrangement, according to advocates.
The order came in a Special Leave Petition (SLP), which was preferred by the PCI against various judgements of the High Court of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Delhi quashing the 5-year ban imposed by PCI.
PCI in 2020 after getting approval from Government of India (GOI) had imposed a blanket moratorium on opening of new pharmacy institutions across the country for the next 5 years on the ground that they have come up in thousands across the country. It also said that quality had been compromised and number of graduates from pharmacy courses much exceeded the demand in the sector.
The colleges challenged it on the ground that the PCI exceeded its delegated powers whilst imposing the ban. Chhattisgarh High Court, Karnataka High Court and the Delhi High Court had quashed the moratorium order holding the same to be arbitrary and outside the delegated powers of the PCI conferred by the parent enactment of the Pharmacy Act, 1948. Against the judgements of the High Courts, the PCI appealed to the Supreme Court.
Colleges especially from MP and CG had also filed writ petitions praying for acceptance, scrutiny and processing of their application until the final outcome for opening new institutions.
Advocate Siddharth R Gupta, on behalf of pharmacy colleges, pleaded that they are at the verge of losing another academic year and the matter should either be heard for one last time or some interim arrangement be made so that at least applications are accepted, scrutinised and processed till the final outcome of the SLP.