Delhi HC directs state to ensure compliance on pricing of essential drugs

The Delhi High Court Sunday directed the Delhi government to ensure that medicines being used to treat Covid-19 patients, oxygen cylinders and other such equipment are not sold at prices above the maximum retail price and said that any person found to be indulging in such malpractices shall be booked and brought to the notice of the court.

The division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said independent contempt action would be taken against all such persons. The court was told that Covid-19 medicines and oxygen cylinders are being sold in the black market and at a price much higher than the MRP.

It also directed the state government and Delhi Police to give wide publicity in newspapers and other media to the helpline number created by police for reporting overcharging by ambulances, fake Covid medicines, blackmarketing and hoarding of medicines, oxygen cylinders, concentrators, medical equipment and harassment at cremation grounds.

The bench also said that big hospital chains have “only saved capital costs” and it will later also deal with the aspect of them not having their own oxygen generation plants. It said “we are firefighting this time” but may issue directions when the situation is better.

Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra told the court that two of the big hospitals in the national capital have already started the process and one of them will have it in place next week.

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