LHC issues notice to DRAP against price hike of drugs

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The Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued notice to Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) on a petition against sale of surgical face masks, temperature guns, plasma and life-saving drugs at an exorbitant price in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.
LHC judge Justice Sajid Mehmood conducted hearing on a plea filed against hike in prices of surgical masks, hand sanitizers, temperature guns, life-saving drugs, and sought reply from DRAP.
The LHC directed authorities, concerned officials to appear before the court in the next hearing. The court then adjourned hearing till June 22.
In the previous hearing on Monday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) directed concerned authorities to ensure the availability of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitizer, life-saving drugs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The court directed the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) and other respondents in the case to submit a reply till June 17. It must be noted that the price of one packet of Chloroquine tablet has reached Rs 3,000 while life-saving injection Acterma’s price has gone up to Rs1 million.
The countrywide tally of coronavirus cases has surged to 154,760 after 5,839 new infections were detected in the country over the past 24 hours, while record 136 people succumbed to the deadly disease.
LHC SAYS OGRA CHAIRMAN SHOULD RESIGN IF HE IS UNABLE TO PERFORM: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) chairman should step down from his post, if he is unable to discharge his duties, remarked Chief Justice Lahore High Court (LHC) Muhammad Qasim Khan, while hearing a case related to petroleum products shortage on Wednesday.
At the outset of the hearing, Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan showed his resentment as the chairman OGRA did not appear before the court despite summons on the last hearing.
“The OGRA chairperson should have at least appeared in court. He should leave his post if he can’t continue to work, the judge remarked. OGRA has to improve its performance. This is an example of bad governance,” the LHC CJ noted.
“The post of chairman OGRA is not for enjoying only, this department is responsible for shortage of petroleum in the country”, the court remarked.
It is assumed from the decisions of the federal cabinet on the petrol crisis that it was unaware about the laws. The matter cannot be resolved until you do not hold anyone responsible for the crisis, the court remarked.
The court has ordered the advocate-general to appear at the next hearing. Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed to take punitive action against those responsible for the artificial shortage of fuel across the country.
Meanwhile, the prime minister summoned Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan and Special Assistant to the PM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar to discuss the issue. On June 11, OGRA imposed fines up to Rs10 million on six oil marketing companies for not supplying fuel.