By Obaid Abrar Khan
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday observed that there was a huge mafia of pharmaceuticals in Pakistan.
A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan heard the case.
During the course of proceedings, the Chief Justice remarked that the federal cabinet made no decision regarding the prices of medicines. The Additional Attorney General said that the matter was referred to the task force, not the cabinet.
Justice Ijaz said it seemed that the task force was using delaying tactics on the issue instead of making a decision.
The chief justice asked what the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is doing. He said both the pharmaceutical companies and buyers are in a state of uncertainty.
He said pharmaceutical companies send abroad all profits in the name of buying raw materials. He said the government did not decide on its own and challenges the decisions of the high court.
The Additional Attorney General said that a private company disappeared Buscopan tablets from the market.
He said if the price of the medicine was not met, it disappeared from the market.
Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan said if DRAP did not decide on time, the price automatically went up after the stipulated period. The Additional Attorney General said that the private company increased the price of eight medicines.
He said the Sindh High Court also stayed DRAP from taking action. When the court staff informed the bench that the lawyers for a private company were busy in another court, it adjourned hearing till Monday.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected oil companies’ plea seeking to halt the federal government’s investigation against them.
Chief Justice Islamabad High Court Justice Athar Minallah released the order, which was reserved earlier.
The court in its order states that the executive cannot be barred from carrying out an inquiry to find out who is responsible for the shortage of petrol in the country. The court also rejected the petition seeking a stay order on the actions taken against oil companies.
The decision further said that an inquiry into the crisis does not affect the fundamental rights of the petitioners. Moreover, IHC has barred the parties from making unnecessary statements on the petrol crisis inquiry.
Earlier, in their petition oil companies stated that the committee on June 12 summoned the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company and levelled against the company the “baseless” allegation of hoarding and black marketing.
On June 11, the FIA summoned the heads of three oil marketing companies after finding evidence of their involvement in the petrol shortage across Pakistan.
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