Refuses to pass any interim order for restraining the firm from manufacturing drugs

The Supreme Court, on Friday, issued notice to the Centre and Ranbaxy Laboratories on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), seeking cancellation of the company’s licence for allegedly supplying adulterated drugs in the country.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, however, refused to pass any interim order for restraining the company from manufacturing drugs. “The matter requires consideration, and we will examine it, but we cannot grant any interim stay,” the bench said. Reacting to the development, the company spokesperson said Ranbaxy was compliant with all the requirements under Indian laws, and maintained that all the drugs sold by the company in the domestic market were safe and effective.

“Ranbaxy has not yet received any notice to file reply from the Honourable Supreme Court of India. If the company received a notice, it will respond appropriately to the observations,’’ the spokesperson said.

The court passed the order on a PIL filed by advocate M. L. Sharma, seeking action against the company for allegedly supplying sub-standard and adulterated drugs.

In his PIL, the petitioner alleged that “Ranbaxy was fined $500 million by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) for making and selling adulterated drugs.’’

The PIL also sought sealing of all its manufacturing units here, including those in Paonta Sahib in Himachal Pradesh and Dewas in Madhya Pradesh. The petitioner alleged that despite Ranbaxy pleading guilty to supplying adulterated drugs in the U.S. and it being fined such a huge amount, the Centre has not taken any action to prohibit or ban the drugs made by the company.

The petition also sought action against Indian drug regulator Central Drug Standards Control Organisation for permitting Ranbaxy to sell drugs in India.