The High Court on Tuesday directed maintenance of status quo in respect of establishing generic drug stores through a private firm, Esscubes Medisciences Pvt Ltd., in 22 government teaching hospitals.

A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer passed the interim order while hearing a PIL petition filed by M.C. Nagendra Rao and others. The Bench ordered issue of notices to Medical Education Minister S.A. Ramdas, the State government and others.

The plea says the firm’s director, S. Shankarananda, is a trustee of Aasare Foundation that was “authored” by Mr. Ramdas. The firm was registered in February 2012 and got the contract to operate generic drug stores in 22 hospitals in March 2012.