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Thursday, December 21, 2017

the appellant was sitting on the mudguard of a tractor and this was not a risk insured by the insurer. Upon this finding, the High Court allowed the appeal of the insurer and rejected the appeal filed by the appellant for enhancement of compensation. = In our view, the monthly income of the appellant, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case should be taken at Rs.4,000/-. After allowing for future prospects and making a deduction for present expenses, the compensation payable to the appellant shall stand enhanced by an amount of Rs.1,50,000/- from Rs.5,75,000/- to Rs.7,75,000/-. The amount for future medical expenses which has been fixed at Rs.30,000/- should be enhanced to Rs.1,20,000/- having regard to the serious nature of the disability. In other words, the compensation of Rs.8,66,000/- awarded by the Tribunal shall be enhanced by an additional amount of Rs.2,70,000/-. The appellant shall be entitled to interest @7% p.a. from the date of the claim petition until realization. The insurer shall deposit the compensation or, as the case may be, the balance payable in terms of this judgment within a period of 12 weeks from today before the Tribunal which shall be released to the appellant upon due verification.

1
REPORTABLE
 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
 CIVIL APPEAL NOS 022911-022912 OF 2017
(Arising out of SLP (C ) Nos 6891-6892 of 2017)
HALAPPA ..... APPELLANT
Versus
MALIK SAB ..... RESPONDENT

J U D G M E N T
Dr D Y CHANDRACHUD, J
1 The High Court of Karnataka by a judgment dated 12 July 2011 reversed a
decision of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal awarding compensation to the
appellant in the amount of Rs.8,66,000/- with interest @ 7% per annum. While
reversing the award of compensation, the High Court has come to the conclusion
that the appellant was sitting on the mudguard of a tractor and this was not a risk
2
insured by the insurer. Upon this finding, the High Court allowed the appeal of
the insurer and rejected the appeal filed by the appellant for enhancement of
compensation.
2 The accident took place on 24 September 2005. The appellant was 28
years old at the time of the accident. The case of the appellant is that on 24
September 2005 he was visiting Sirigere to attend an event. A demonstration of
tractors was being held at 11.30 A.M. by Sonalika tractors. The appellant, who is
an agriculturist, claimed that when he approached the tractor, the driver was
unable to bring it to a halt as a result of which it turned turtle and collided with the
appellant resulting in his sustaining grievous injuries. A first information report
was registered at the Bharamasagara Police Station under Case Crime 147 of
2005 and a charge-sheet was filed against the driver for offences punishable
under Sections 279 and 338 of the Penal Code.
3 The appellant claimed compensation in the amount of Rs.25,00,000/-. The
appellant was examined as PW 1 in support of his claim. PW 2 Dr Jayaprakash
was examined to prove the nature of the injuries sustained by the appellant. The
evidence indicated that immediately after the accident the appellant was taken
for treatment to the community health centre, Sirigere where he was
administered first aid. He was thereafter shifted to Bapuji Hospital, Davangere
from where he was referred to the M S Ramayya Hospital, Bangalore for further
3
treatment. The medical records showed that the appellant had suffered
paraplegia with a compression fracture. The appellant has been permanently
immobilized, is wheel-chair bound, and requires artificial support for bladder and
bowel evacuation. The lower portion of his body has been paralyzed. Dr
Jayaprakash, PW 2, deposed in evidence that the disability of the appellant is
one hundred per cent since both his lower limbs have been paralyzed resulting in
a loss of bladder and bowel control.
4 Before the Tribunal the defence of the insurer was that the appellant was
riding on the mudguard of the tractor, this having been stated in the FIR.
According to the insurer, the policy of insurance did not cover the risk of anyone
other than the driver of the tractor. The Tribunal rejected the defence of the
insurer and relied upon the testimony of the appellant which was found to have
been corroborated by the evidence of PW 3, an eye-witness to the incident. On
the aspect of compensation the Tribunal noted that the appellant belongs to a
family of agriculturists which has a land holding of 5 acres and 25 gunthas. The
appellant was married. The Tribunal did not accept the plea of the appellant that
his monthly income was Rs.10,000/-, in the absence of cogent proof. The
Tribunal assumed the income of the appellant to be Rs.3,000/- per month. The
age of the appellant at the time of the accident being 28 years, the Tribunal
applied a multiplier of 16 and computed the compensation on account of the loss
of future earning capacity at Rs.5,76,000/-. An additional amount of Rs.50,000/-
4
was awarded towards loss of amenities and Rs.30,000/- for future medical
expenses. An amount of Rs.2,10,000/- was awarded towards medical expenses,
pain and suffering. Consequently, a total compensation of Rs.8,66,000/- was
awarded together with interest at 7% per annum from the date of the claim
petition until realization. The driver, owner and insurer have been held to be
jointly and severally liable.
5 The appellant filed an appeal for enhancement of compensation. The
insurer had also filed an appeal questioning its liability. The High Court has
allowed the appeal of the insurer and dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant.
The High Court held that in the first information report which was registered on
the date of the accident on the basis of the statement of the appellant, it was
stated that the appellant was sitting on the mud-guard next to the driver of the
tractor. Subsequently on 30 September 2005 another statement was recorded
by the police in which the appellant stated that the accident had taken place as a
result of the rash and negligent act of the tractor driver, due to which the tractor
had turned turtle and fallen over the appellant. In the view of the High Court, the
police had attempted to protect the liability of the owner and had recorded a
further statement to support the plea that the appellant was a third party and that
the tractor had fallen upon him. The High Court has also doubted as to how the
police could have recorded the statement of the appellant on 30 September 2005
when he was shifted to M S Ramayya Hospital in Bangalore.
5
6 Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellant submits that the
High Court has manifestly erred in reversing the considered judgment of the
Tribunal. The appellant urged that the finding of fact recorded by the Tribunal on
the basis of substantive evidence could not have been reversed purely on the
basis of the FIR. Moreover, it was urged that the insurer had not produced any
ocular evidence to displace what was stated by the appellant in the course of his
deposition and which was supported by PW 3 who had witnesses the accident.
7 On the other hand, the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the insurer
has supported the judgment of the High Court and urged that the finding that the
appellant was injured while riding on the mud-guard of the tractor is correct.
Consequently it was urged that the insurance policy which was issued to the
owner did not cover the risk arising from a third party riding on the tractor and
there was hence a breach of the insurance policy.
8 The judgment of the Tribunal indicates that the defence of the insurer
based on the first information report, the complaint Exh.P1 and the
supplementary statement of the appellant at Exh.P2 was duly evaluated. The
Tribunal, however, observed thus:
“…the respondent no.3 and RW.1 submitted that the petitioner has
invited the alleged unfortunate accident but except the FIR and complaint
Ex.P.1 the respondent no.3 has not produced any documents to show
that at the time of accident the petitioner was travelling as a passenger
by sitting on the engine of the tractor in question. During the course of
cross-examination RW.1 has admitted that the respondent no.3 has
6
maintained a separate file in respect of accident in question and he has
also admitted that the respondent no.3 has not produced the
investigator’s report of this case. Admittedly the respondent no.3 has not
examined any independent eye witness to the accident to prove that on
the relevant date and time of the accident the petitioner was travelling as
a passenger by sitting on the engine of the tractor. If really the petitioner
has sustained grievous injuries by falling down from the engine of said
tractor the respondent no.3 insurer could have produced the separate file
maintained by it in respect of the accident in question and it could have
also produced investigator’s report in respect of the said accident but
admittedly the respondent no.3 has not produced the said separate file
and investigator’s report in respect of the accident in question for the
reasons best known to it. On the other hand as already stated above it is
clear from the statement of petitioner on oath and eye witness and from
the supplementary statement of petitioner at Ex.P.2 and police statement
of witnesses at Ex.P.3 and Charge Sheet at Ex.P.6 it is clear that due to
rash and negligent driving of said tractor by respondent no.1 the said
tractor turtle down and fell over the petitioner who was about to board the
tractor and as a result of which the petitioner has sustained grievous
injuries. Moreover as already stated above the Investigating Officer
concern after detail investigation has filed the Charge Sheet against the
respondent no.1 for the offences punishable u/s.279 and 338 IPC…”
The High Court has proceeded to reverse the finding of the Tribunal purely on the
basis that the FIR which was lodged on the complaint of the appellant contained
a version which was at variance with the evidence which emerged before the
Tribunal. The Tribunal had noted the admission of RW1 in the course of his
cross-examination that the insurer had maintained a separate file in respect of
the accident. The insurer did not produce either the file or the report of the
investigator in the case. Moreover, no independent witness was produced by the
insurer to displace the version of the incident as deposed to by the appellant and
by PW 3. The cogent analysis of the evidence by the Tribunal has been
displaced by the High Court without considering material aspects of the evidence
on the record. The High Court was not justified in holding that the Tribunal had
7
arrived at a finding of fact without applying its mind to the documents produced
by the claimant or that it had casually entered a finding of fact. On the contrary,
we find that the reversal of the finding by the High Court was without considering
the material aspects of the evidence which justifiably weighed with the Tribunal.
We are, therefore, of the view that the finding of the High Court is manifestly
erroneous and that the finding of fact by the Tribunal was correct.
9 That leaves the Court to determine the quantum of compensation. The
medical evidence on the record shows that the lower limbs of the appellant have
been paralyzed resulting in a loss of bladder and bowel control. The medical
evidence establishes that the disability of the appellant is one hundred per cent.
The medical records have been scrutinized by the Tribunal. The appellant
suffers from traumatic paraplegia and was hospitalized for 42 days. The
appellant was 28 years of age when the accident took place on 24 September
2005. In our view, the monthly income of the appellant, having regard to the
facts and circumstances of the case should be taken at Rs.4,000/-. After
allowing for future prospects and making a deduction for present expenses, the
compensation payable to the appellant shall stand enhanced by an amount of
Rs.1,50,000/- from Rs.5,75,000/- to Rs.7,75,000/-. The amount for future
medical expenses which has been fixed at Rs.30,000/- should be enhanced to
Rs.1,20,000/- having regard to the serious nature of the disability. In other
words, the compensation of Rs.8,66,000/- awarded by the Tribunal shall be
8
enhanced by an additional amount of Rs.2,70,000/-. The appellant shall be
entitled to interest @7% p.a. from the date of the claim petition until realization.
The insurer shall deposit the compensation or, as the case may be, the balance
payable in terms of this judgment within a period of 12 weeks from today before
the Tribunal which shall be released to the appellant upon due verification.
10 The appeals are allowed in the above terms with no order as to costs.
 ….....................................CJI
[DIPAK MISRA]

 …......................................J
[A.M. KHANWILKAR]
 …......................................J
 [Dr D Y CHANDRACHUD]

New Delhi
December 15, 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

whether the temple and its premises had been endowed by the father of the appellants, as otherwise evidenced by Exh.B6 or otherwise in accordance with the law and the procedure prescribed therefor for further consequential action, as warranted = In the wake of the above and on a consideration of the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, this appeal is disposed of with a direction to the appellants to file an appropriate representation before the concerned authority under the Act in support of their claim that the temple and its premises are the exclusive private property of theirs and their family and had not been endowed for wakf or charitable/public purposes.

1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.6460 OF 2008
VIJENDRA KUMAR & ORS. …APPELLANTS
VERSUS
THE COMMISSIONER, A.P. CHARITABLE
& RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS & ENDOWMENT
DEPARTMENT & ANR. …RESPONDENTS
J U D G M E N T
AMITAVA ROY, J.
1. The appellants in their relentless pursuit for a
declaration that the temple, which is the subject
matter of the lis is their private place of worship and
not a public shrine, has put to challenge the
determination to the contrary made by the High Court
vide impugned judgment and order dated 10.07.2007
rendered in Letters Patent Appeal No. 393 of 1992.
Thereby the verdict of the Single Judge in the writ
petition filed by the appellants had been affirmed.
2
2. We have heard Mr. V.V.S. Rao, learned senior counsel
for the appellants and Mr. P. Venkat Reddy, learned
counsel for the respondents.
3. The background facts in short need be outlined at the
threshold for the desired comprehension of the issue
seeking resolution. The flow of events demonstrate
that the grandfather of the respondents, Ram Harak
Tiwari (since deceased) had acquired the premises in
question from one Kondaiah by sale deed dated
18.12.1302 Fasli corresponding to 18.12.1893 (as per
English Calendar) and as claimed by them had
installed the family idol of Shri Hanuman Ji made of
silver which was movable and not attached to the
earth exclusively for the worship by the family
members. The suit temple, as is asserted by the
respondents, came to be registered in the Books of
Endowment (Muntakab of Registry of Endowment)
recording the name of Gokarnath Tiwari, the father of
the appellants as the endower of Wakf (that is the
temple) on 16th Aban 1345 Fasli (corresponding to the
3
year 1936 as per the English Calendar). The extract
from the Registry of Endowment discloses that the
entry had been made as per the order of the Minister,
Ecclesiastical Department as contained in File
No.60/1 of 1945 Fasli (corresponding to the year 1933)
of the Directorate of Endowment. This document also
indicated that it had been published in the
contemporary Official Gazette. According to the
appellants, the initial structure was temporary in
nature being a tin shed and was later on converted
into a permanent one with RCC roof by obtaining due
sanction from the concerned municipal authority.
4. As the matter stood at that, in the year 1965 the
appellants received a letter from the Endowment
Department requiring them to submit an
account/budget of the temple on the ground that the
same had been endowed by their father for public
purpose. The appellants filed their counter in case
No.28 of 1968 before the Deputy Commissioner,
Andhra Pradesh Charitable Hindu Religious
4
Institutions and Endowments, Government of Andhra
Pradesh, Hyderabad, instituted by one Mr. Laxmanrao
and another, where they denied that the temple had
ever been dedicated or endowed to the public by their
father. They claimed as well that all the investments
made in the structure/premises were with the funds of
the family and with the due sanction of the municipal
authorities.
5. After the death of their father, Gokarnath Tiwari on
21.06.1969, the appellants continued to manage the
affairs of the temple and conduct the worship therein
as an exclusive family affair.
6. The appellants thereafter in the year 1975 filed an
application under Section 77 of the Andhra Pradesh
Hindu Charitable and Religious Institutions and
Endowment Act of 1966 (hereafter to be referred to as
“the Act”) with the same contention.
7. This proceeding, later on, under Section 92 of the Act,
was transferred to the Deputy Commissioner
(Endowment) at Guntur for disposal and was
5
numbered as OA 66 of 1975. By order dated
28.2.1977, this application of the appellants was
dismissed with the observation that the suit temple
was a public temple.
8. Situated thus, the appellants instituted the suit being
OS 58 of 1977 in the Court of Chief Judge, City Civil
Court, Hyderabad under Section 78 of the Act praying
for an affirmation that the suit temple was a private
property and claimed for a decree, inter alia for a
declaration:
a) That the order dated 28.2.1977 of the
Deputy Commission, Endowment, Guntur
proclaiming the temple to be a public temple
was null and void and inoperative in
law;
b) That the entry in the Register of
Endowments dated 11.11.1342 Fasli on
the basis of which the respondents claim
that the suit temple has been endowed by
their father was null and void and not
binding on them.
9. In the plaint, the appellants while restating the above
facts and reaffirming their claim that the temple was
6
their private property, elaborated that they had been
paying the taxes for the property along with the
electricity charges and that they did not receive/collect
any donation or accept any offerings from the public
for the maintenance of the suit temple and that the
same had never been dedicated to the public. They
thus, reiterated that the temple was their exclusive
private property from the time of their grand-father.
10. In their written statement, the respondents
contended that the grand-father and the father of the
appellants were only the Pujari (Worshipper/Priest) of
the suit temple and that the same was public in
nature, where large number of devotees daily visited
and worshiped the deity by making variety of offerings.
They asserted that the temple had been endowed by
the father of the appellants for charitable purposes for
the benefit of the public and that such endowment had
been registered in the Book of Endowment in the year
1342 Fasli (corresponding to 1933) pursuant to which
“Muntaqab” had been issued and have been duly
7
published in the Hyderabad Gazette. They also pleaded
that the suit was beyond time. According to them, the
temple being registered as Public Endowment, the
appellants were obligated in law to submit the budget
of income and expenditure thereof to the Endowment
Department.
11. In the suit, both sides adduced oral and
documentary evidence in support of their rival stands,
elaboration whereof is inessential. It is, however,
significant to refer to the document Exh.B6, the
extract of the entry in the Register of Endowment as
sought to be introduced by DW5, an erstwhile staff of
the Directorate of Endowment. The said document, the
Gazette publication whereof is not in dispute, prima
facie appears to be one on the basis of an extract from
File No. 60/2 of the Endowment Department of the
year 1342 Fasli (correspondingly year 1933) and has
been made on the order of the Minister, Ecclesiastical
Department conveyed through letter of the Secretary,
Judicial and Police etc. dated 11 Mehar 1345 Fasli
8
(corresponding to year 1936). The above endorsement
seems to be subscribed by the then Superintendent,
Endowments. This document, amongst others, records
the name of P. Gokarnath Tiwari, the father of the
appellants to be the endower of the premises identified
to be the suit temple with the object of “Wakf”. The
father of the appellants has been described therein to
be the (Pujari/Priest) of the temple. A copy of the
extract also appears to have been forwarded to the
father of the appellants describing him to be the
endower apart from the other public authorities, as
mentioned therein. An endorsement by the
Superintendent Endowments to this effect also is
available on the document.
12. Suffice it to state that this document appears to
be in a prescribed form with the necessary columns to
register the particulars of a public endowment, if
made, to be entered in the Register of Endowment,
maintained by the Director of Endowments, Govt. of
Hyderabad (as it was then). As a corollary, if this
9
document is admissible in law with all its probative
worth, it would determinatively clinch the issue in
favour of the respondents.
13. The Trial Court, however, by the judgment and
order dated 20.7.1981 decreed the suit of the
appellants whereupon the respondents have filed an
appeal under Section 96 of the Civil Procedure Code
before the High Court. The Trial Court qua Exh.B6
was of the view that though it contained an entry in
the Book of Endowments indicating that the father of
the appellants had endowed the property in the lis for
Wakf, as the Ecclesiastical Department did not take
steps for exercising its supervision for over four
decades and therefore the appellants and their
predecessors had continued to treat the same as their
private property, the validity of the entry was doubtful.
It however noted that the entry had remained
unchallenged within one year, it could not be
expunged as well. Eventually, however the Trial Court
held the entry as null and void for the sole reason that
10
till 1965, the Department did not bother to supervise
the suit temple and the appellants continued to treat
the same as their private property by paying municipal
tax, remodeling the structures with two permissions
from the Municipality etc.
14. The learned Single Judge, on an assessment of
the materials on record, reversed the findings of the
Trial Court and held that the temple was a public
temple, both in view of the proved fact that it was
being visited by the members of the public in profuse
numbers daily with offerings in cash and kind, but
also in view of the entry in the Register of Endowment,
Exh.B6, which even otherwise in view of Section 114(e)
of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 permitted a
presumption of validity of official acts pertaining
thereto. The learned Single Judge, on this
consideration, negated the plea of the appellants that
neither such an endowment had been made by their
father nor any notice had been received by them with
regard thereto at any point of time. Mentionably, the
11
appellants in the suit had contended that their father
did not apply to the Ecclesiastical Department for the
endowment, as alleged and it could have been the
mischief of some of their neighbours to make such an
application under the forged signatures of their father.
According to them, the temple was their family place of
worship, which of course in view of its location, used
to be visited by the members of the public for which,
however, the same did not get transformed into a
public temple.
15. The appellants preferred Letters Patent Appeal
before the Division Bench of the High Court, which
rendered the judgment impugned. As the text thereof
would demonstrate, the High Court dwelt upon the
decisions cited at the Bar, amongst others on the
characteristics and determinants to ascertain the true
nature of a temple, private or public and eventually
affirmed that the temple involved as held by the
learned Single Judge was indeed public in nature. In
arriving at this conclusion, the High Court, inter alia
12
recorded that the evidence established, that the
members of the public do visit the temple as a matter
of right with no restriction to their access at any point
of time and that there was no material to prove that
the endower had left extensive properties belonging to
him or the family for the purpose of maintenance of
the temple for their exclusive purposes and instead it
was being run and maintained by public offerings.
Apart from taking note of the entry in the Register of
Endowments, published in the Official Gazette, the
High Court also minuted that there was nothing on
record to authenticate that there was any prohibition
to the acceptance of public subscriptions or offerings
for the temple. The presumption of validity of official
acts in terms of Section 114(e) of the Indian Evidence
Act, 1872 as drawn by the learned Single Judge, was
affirmed as well qua Exh.B6 . The temple was thus
proclaimed to be a public temple.
16. Mr. Rao, learned senior counsel for the appellants
has strenuously argued that the temple property had
13
been and is the exclusive asset of the appellants and
their family as is amply established by the materials
on record and thus, the finding to the contrary being
against the weight thereof, is palpably illegal and
unsustainable in law and on facts. According to the
learned senior counsel, the private temple is a place of
worship of the appellants and their family members
and by virtue of its present location due to the
alteration in the topographical orientations from time
to time, it is situated by the public thoroughfare for
which the members of the public, while passing by the
way, do worship and offer their services without any
further involvement. The learned senior counsel has
insisted that such association of the members of the
public solely due to religious sentiments per se would
not convert the temple, which is otherwise an
exclusive family property of the appellants, into a
public institution. Mr. Rao in categorical terms denied
that the temple had ever been endowed by the father of
the appellants as it sought to be represented by the
14
entry in the Register of Endowment, Exh.B6 and urged
that no notice ever had been served on the appellants
or their father at any point of time which therefore,
renders this instrument non est in law and of no
probative worth. According to him, mere publication
of this document in the Official Gazette is not of any
decisive significance whatsoever. Mr. Rao has urged
that the overall finding that the temple is a public
temple is patently erroneous and is liable to be
set-aside.
17. The learned counsel for the respondents, to the
contrary has asserted that not only the appellants
have failed to demonstrate by adducing cogent and
convincing evidence that the temple and the premises
thereof had not been endowed to the public, the
contemporaneous entry in the Register of Endowments
maintained in the official course of business and
published in the Official Gazette leaves no manner of
doubt that the temple is a public temple. The
concurrent findings to this effect being based on
15
credible evidence on record, no interference is called
for, he maintained.
18. We have extended our thoughtful consideration
to the rival assertions. Noticeably, though the
appellants had throughout contended that the temple
and its premises are their private property, they admit
that they had received a notice/letter from the
Endowment Department in the year 1965 asking them
to submit the account/budget of the expenditure
thereof. Though, they did file their counter in Case
No. 28 of 1968 instituted by one Mr. Laxman Rao and
another in the office of the Deputy Commissioner,
Andhra Pradesh Charitable Hindu Religious Institution
and Endowments, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh contending
that the temple had never been dedicated or endowed
to the public at any point of time, they chose to file the
application under Section 77 of the Act before the
Deputy Commissioner, Hyderabad only in the year
1975. This is more so inspite of the fact that their
stand was not accepted by the Endowment
16
Department in the earlier proceeding.
19. Be that as it may, the Deputy Commissioner,
Guntur on the proceedings registered on their
application under Section 77 of the Act, having
declared the temple to be a public temple, they
instituted the suit for setting-aside the said
determination, which has eventually culminated in the
order impugned in the present appeal.
 On an analysis of the evidence adduced by the parties,
the attention to which had been drawn in course of the
arguments it is obvious that the document Exh.B6 has the
potential of being of definitive significance to decide the
issue as to whether the temple is a private temple or a
public one. The oral evidence adduced by the parties are
more or less evenly balanced and therefore does not
demand any dilation. Apropos Exh.B6, to reiterate, it is per
se in a prescribed form and is an extract from File No. 60/2
of the Endowment Department available in 1342 Fasli (year
1933). The entry is of the year 1345 Fasli (year 1936) and
has been made as per the order of the Minister,
17
Ecclesiastical Department in the Register of Endowment,
maintained by the Director of Endowment, Govt. of
Hyderabad. This document discloses that P. Gokarnath
Tiwari, the father of the appellants had endowed the suit
temple for “Wakf”, i.e. public/charitable purpose, he being
shown as the Pujari (Priest) thereof. It is not disputed that
this document had been published in the Official Gazette, a
copy thereof, as the document endorses, had also been
forwarded to the father of the appellants referring to him as
the endower of the property. On an overall consideration of
the features of this document, it would prima facie appear,
if all legal essentialities of procedure in connection
therewith had been adhered to, that an endowment had
indeed been made by the father of the appellants. Added to
this as well, is the rebuttable presumption of validity of
official acts which can be permissibly drawn in terms of
Section 114(e) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
20. This notwithstanding, we, in course of the
hearing, had enquired from the Assistant
Commissioner, Endowments, who was present in
18
court as to the legally prescribed procedure prevalent
at the relevant point of time for registration of the
endowment of the kind as involved. This is more so in
view of the insistent stand of the appellants that such
endowment had never been made by their father and
that no notice with regard thereto had ever been
received by him or them. They also indicated that this
could be the handiwork of some mischievous
neighbours of theirs. It is a matter of record that in
between the proceedings with regard to the status of
the temple, there was also a suit filed by the neighbors
of the appellants for a right of passage which did end
in a compromise and as claimed by them (appellants),
the ownership of the temple premises had been
established.
21. The officer concerned accordingly laid before us a
copy of the Endowment Regulations, sanctioned by the
Nizam of Hyderabad in 1349 Fasli (1940 AD), which
amongst others laid down the procedure for
compilation of the Book of Endowments, as per
19
Regulations 3 to 8. In substance these provisions
stipulated that the Book of Endowments would be
prepared in the office of the Endowment Department
and would contain all endowments which are in force
or which would be brought into force in future under
the relevant rules. It made it to be the duty for every
trustee or endower of an endowment to inform in
writing with regard to an endowment, in case it was an
immoveable property which had not been entered in
the “Book of the Endowments”, to the Director of the
Endowments concerned. As per Regulation 5, every
person had the right to inform the Director of
Endowment Department of the Taluq with regard to an
endowment which had not been entered in the Book of
Endowments and to the Director of Endowments in
case the property was situated in Hyderabad.
Regulation 6 predicated that on the receipt of every
such intimation or any other reliable information in
some other way, the Director of Endowment of the
Taluq if satisfied prima facie about any property to
20
have been endowed but not entered in the Book of
Endowments, would publish a notification in the
Tehsil Office and if the property was immovable, to
publish it in any prominent place and also at the place
where the endower resided, in addition to other places
where he thought fit and also have the same published
in the Gazette. As per Regulation 7, if no person raised
objection within the period mentioned in the
notification and if the property was found to be legally
endowed, the same would then be registered. In case,
however any objection was made within the period
specified by any person, who was interested or was
concerned with the endowed property in any capacity,
the Director of Endowments of the Taluq was required
to hold an enquiry as to whether the property had
been legally endowed or not and if proved to have been
endowed legally, to enter the same in the Book of
Endowments, together with intimation to be given to
the Director of Endowment Department, Hyderabad
Govt. Remedies to the person aggrieved have also
21
been provided. Incidentally, however, these
Endowments Regulations are of 1940 AD, i.e.
subsequent to the year of entry contained in Exh.B6.
On being queried by us, the Assistant Commissioner,
Endowment apprised the Court that the same
procedure prevailed under the earlier regulations
which are in Urdu language and are being presently in
the process of getting translated. This position has not
been disputed on behalf of the appellants. The
exercise as prescribed for registering any endowment,
under the aforementioned Regulations clearly accords
with the procedure, contemplated in law having regard
to the consequence of endowment of a private property
for public/charitable purposes. For obvious reasons,
we refrain from elaborating further in absence of better
particulars.
22. In view of the above Regulations however, and
noticing the persistent stand of the appellants that
their father had not endowed the suit premises to
render the temple a public temple and that neither he
22
nor they had ever received any notice in connection
therewith, we are of the considered opinion, in the
backdrop of the series of litigation including the suit
filed by the neighbours of the temple premises, that it
would be in fitness of things that an opportunity be
granted to the parties to adduce all evidence, oral and
documentary, at their disposal available to them to
finally and conclusively determine as to whether the
temple and its premises had been endowed by the
father of the appellants, as otherwise evidenced by
Exh.B6 or otherwise in accordance with the law and
the procedure prescribed therefor for further
consequential action, as warranted. We are inclined to
adopt this course, to reiterate, in view of the equally
balanced oral evidence on record and the formidable
significance of Exh.B6, the entry in the Register of
Endowments, which if has been prepared by following
the procedure, as prescribed by law then prevalent,
would seal the issue in favour of the respondents.
23. It is worthwhile to mention that DW5, who
23
exhibited this document, however, expressed his
ignorance as to the manner in which the same had
been prepared. There is no indication as well that this
document had been proved by him with reference to
the original records. In cross-examination, this
witness has conceded as well that he had no personal
knowledge about the application made for registering
the suit temple in the Book of Endowments and that
he was not aware as to when the “Muntaqab” had been
issued. In this view of the matter, the assertion on
behalf of the appellants that the Gazette Notification of
this document per se in absence of the proof of the
procedure of making of this entry as required in law,
would not be decisive, cannot be lightly brushed aside.
As it is, the presumption of validity of official acts, is
essentially rebuttable and can be dislodged by
convincing evidence to the contrary.
24. In the wake of the above and on a consideration
of the totality of the facts and circumstances of the
case, this appeal is disposed of with a direction to the
24
appellants to file an appropriate representation before
the concerned authority under the Act in support of
their claim that the temple and its premises are the
exclusive private property of theirs and their family
and had not been endowed for wakf or
charitable/public purposes. This should be done
within a period of four weeks herefrom. Needless to
say, the authority concerned would issue notice to the
Department to file their response and thereafter afford
adequate opportunity to both the sides to adduce
evidence and decide the issue as to whether the temple
and the premises involved are private or public in
nature by recording reasons., It is too trite to mention
that in undertaking this exercise, the adjudicating
authority would take note of all relevant facts and the
law applicable. The exercise, as ordered, should be
completed within a period of six months from the date
of filing of the representation by the appellants. In the
attendant facts and circumstances, we direct that the
status quo of the property involved, as on date shall be
25
maintained till the adjudication, as directed, is over.
The parties are hereby directed to co-operate so as to
enable the authority to meet the deadline of time fixed
by this Court.
25. The impugned judgment and order is set-aside.
We make it clear that we have not offered any final
comments on the merits of the case and the authority
would adjudicate the issue without being influenced
by any observation made hereinabove.
26. The appeal is thus, allowed in these terms. No
costs.
…........................................J.
[N.V. RAMANA]
…........................................J.
[AMITAVA ROY]
NEW DELHI;
DECEMBER 15, 2017.

when the validity of a decree can be challenged in execution proceedings ? = dicta of the Supreme Court in Hira Lal Patni v. Sri Kali Nath, AIR 1962 SC 199 which held that “the validity of a decree can be challenged in execution proceedings only on the ground that the court which passed the decree was lacking inherent jurisdiction in the sense that it could not have seisin of the case because the subject matter was wholly foreign to its jurisdiction or that the defendant was dead at the time the suit had been instituted or decree passed, or some such other ground which could have the effect of rendering the court entirely lacking in jurisdiction in respect of the subject matter of the suit or over the parties to it. But in the instant case there was no such inherent lack of jurisdiction.” - The suit which was decreed on 30 May 2009 was a suit under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act which in any event, did not require a determination of the question of title. The earlier suit was a suit for injunction. The finding of fact which has been arrived at is to the effect that the land in question had ceased to be agricultural in nature on the date of the institution of the suit. Hence, it cannot be held that the decree of the trial court was a nullity. The land was not governed, as a result, by the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954 since it was not agricultural and the bar under Section 185 was not attracted. There was no inherent lack of jurisdiction and the objection to the execution of the decree was without foundation

1
REPORTABLE
 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 022967 OF 2017
(Arising out of SLP (C ) No 27279 of 2015)
HARPAL SINGH ..... APPELLANT
Versus
ASHOK KUMAR & ANR ..... RESPONDENTS

J U D G M E N T
Dr D Y CHANDRACHUD, J
1 Leave granted.
2 A learned Single Judge of the High Court of Delhi, by a judgment dated 19
September 2014 rejected a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution. The
petition sought to challenge an order dated 21 August 2010 of the Additional
2
District Judge (North) rejecting the objections of the appellant in the course of the
execution of a decree.
3 Sometime in 2002 a suit was instituted by the respondents for a permanent
injunction, alleging that the defendants to the suit were threatening to interfere with
the possession of their lands situated at Nilothi, Delhi. The suit was dismissed by
the Civil Judge on 14 February 2005, holding it to be barred by the provisions of
Section 185 (1) of the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954. The Trial court held that
the plaintiff had failed to place any registered document on record to establish his
ownership in respect of the land. Moreover, in the view of the trial Court, it was
necessary for the plaintiffs to first seek a declaration from the revenue court as
bhoomidars upon which alone an injunction could be sought. Subsequently, on 31
December 2005 the respondents instituted a suit under Section 6 of the Specific
Relief Act against the appellant, alleging that the appellant had forcibly taken
possession of the land. In response it was the case of the appellant that he was
neither in possession of the land nor had he dispossessed the respondents. The
suit was decreed by the trial court ex-parte on 30 May 2009, upon which execution
was initiated by the respondents as decree-holders. In the course of the execution,
the appellant filed objections on the ground that he was not concerned with the suit
property and was not in possession and on the ground that the ex-parte decree
was obtained by misrepresentation and fraud. The objections were dismissed in
default on 16 April 2010 and a warrant of possession was directed to be issued by
3
the ADJ (North)-04, Delhi. The appellant appears to have filed objections to the
execution of the decree on 12 July 2010 on the ground that Section 185 of the
Delhi Land Reforms Act bars a civil suit for the recovery of possession. The
objections were dismissed by the executing Court on 21 August 2010 with the
following observations:
“The Delhi Land Reforms Act is applicable with regard to the agricultural
land only but the land in question is not agriculture land which has been
vehemently argued by the counsel for the DH and in support of her
contention placed on record the copies of the electricity bills pertaining to
the same khasra number which is subject matter of the instant execution
proceedings. Even otherwise, it is a matter of common knowledge that
most of the rural land in Delhi has become urbanized and private colonies,
may be unauthorized, have mushroomed on such agricultural land. This
fact has since been substantiated with the help of electricity bills which
takes out the sting from the contentions raised by the counsel for the
objector and in the process strengthens the case of the DH, the arguments
is thus, brushed aside that the court lack of inherent jurisdiction on account
of the fact that land in question is governed by the Delhi Land Reforms Act
being agriculture land.”
The order of the executing court was challenged by the appellant under Article 227
of the Constitution. The High Court dismissed the petition by its judgment dated
19 September 2014. The High Court rejected the submission that the decree
obtained under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act was a nullity on the ground that
the suit was barred by Section 185 of the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954.
4 On behalf of the appellant it has been submitted that since an earlier suit
seeking a permanent injunction was dismissed by a competent civil court in view
of the provisions of Section 185(1) of the Delhi Land Reforms Act 1954, and since
the land is ‘agricultural’ in nature, the civil court did not have jurisdiction in the
4
matter. The decree was a nullity and this defence, it was submitted, could be raised
in execution.
5 The High Court has relied upon the earlier decisions of the court following
Ram Lubbaya Kapoor v J R Chawla and others1
, in which it has been held that
to be ‘land’ for the purpose of the Delhi Land Reforms Act,1954, the land must be
held or occupied for purposes connected with agriculture, horticulture or animal
husbandry and if it is not used for such purposes, it ceases to be land for the
purposes of the Act. The same view has been taken by the Delhi High Court in
Narain Singh and Anr v Financial Commissioner2
, Neelima Gupta and Ors v
Yogesh Saroha and Ors3
, and Anand J Datwani v Ms Geeti Bhagat Datwani
and Ors4
.
6 Section 3(13) of the Delhi Land Reforms Act defines the expression ‘land’
as follows:
“(13) “land” except in sections 23 and 24, means land held or occupied for
purpose connected with agriculture, horticulture or animal husbandry
including pisciculture and poultry farming and includes –
(a) Buildings appurtenant thereto,
(b) Village abadis,
(c) Grovelands,
(d) Lands for village pasture or land covered by water and used for
growing singharas and other produce or land in the bed of a river and
used for casual or occasional cultivation,
But does not include

1 1986 RLR 432
2
(2008) 105 DRJ 122
3 156 (2009) DLT 129
4
(2013 (137) DRJ 146
5
land occupied by building in belts or areas adjacent to Delhi town, which
the Chief Commissioner may be a notification in the Official Gazette
declare as an acquisition thereto;”

The position of law which has been consistently followed is that where the land
has not been used for any purpose contemplated under the Land Reforms Act and
has been built upon, it would cease to be agricultural land. Once agricultural land
loses its basic character and has been converted into authorized/unauthorized
colonies by dividing it into plots, disputes of plot holders cannot be decided by the
revenue authorities and would have to be resolved by the civil court. The bar under
Section 185 would not be attracted 5
. This position of law has not been
controverted in the present proceedings.
7 The validity of a decree can be challenged before an executing court only
on the ground of an inherent lack of jurisdiction which renders the decree a nullity.
In Hira Lal Patni v Sri Kali Nath6
, this Court held thus:
“…The validity of a decree can be challenged in execution proceedings
only on the ground that the court which passed the decree was lacking in
inherent jurisdiction in the sense that it could not have seisin of the case
because the subject-matter was wholly foreign to its jurisdiction or that the

5 Section 185 provides thus:
“185. Cognizance of suits, etc., under this Act- (1) Except as provided by or under this Act no court other
than a court mentioned in column 7 of Schedule I shall, notwithstanding anything contained in the Code
of Civil Proced8re, 1908 (5 of 1908), take cognizance of any suit, application, or proceedings mentioned
in column 3 thereof.
(2) Except as hereinafter provided no appeal shall lie from an order passed under any of the proceedings
mentioned in column 3 of the Schedule 3 aforesaid.
(3) An appeal shall lie from the final order passed by a court mentioned in column 3 to the court or
authority mentioned in column 8 thereof.
(4) A second appeal shall lie from the final order passed in an appeal under sub-section (3) to the
authority, if any, mentioned against it in column 9 of the Schedule aforesaid.
6
(1962) 2 SCR 747
6
defendant was dead at the time the suit had been instituted or decree
passed, or some such other ground which could have the effect of
rendering the court entirely lacking in jurisdiction in respect of the subjectmatter
of the suit or over the parties to it…”
In Sunder Dass v Ram Prakash7
, this court held that:
“Now, the law is well settled that an executing court cannot go behind the
decree nor can it question its legality or correctness. But there is one
exception to this general rule and that is that where the decree sought to
be executed is a nullity for lack of inherent jurisdiction in the court passing
it, its invalidity can be set up in an execution proceeding. Where there is
lack of inherent jurisdiction, it goes to the root of the competence of the
court to try the case and a decree which is a nullity is void and can be
declared to be void by any court in which it is presented. Its nullity can be
set up whenever and wherever it is sought to be enforced or relied upon
and even at the stage of execution or even in collateral proceedings. The
executing court can, therefore, entertain an objection that the decree is a
nullity and can refuse to execute the decree. By doing so, the executing
court would not incur the reproach that it is going behind the decree,
because the decree being null and void, there would really be no decree
at all. Vide Kiran Singh v. Chaman Paswan [AIR 1954 SC 340 : (1955) 1
SCR 117] and Seth Hiralal Patni v. Sri Kali Nath [AIR 1962 SC 199 : (1962)
2 SCR 747]. It is, therefore, obvious that in the present case, it was
competent to the executing court to examine whether the decree for
eviction was a nullity on the ground that the civil court had no inherent
jurisdiction to entertain the suit in which the decree for eviction was
passed. If the decree for eviction was a nullity, the executing court could
declare it to be such and decline to execute it against the respondent.”
[See also Gaon Sabha v Nathi8
]
8 In the present case, the finding of fact which was arrived at by the executing
Court in the course of its decision on the objection to execution is that the land had
ceased to be agricultural land and was not being used for purposes contemplated

7
(1977) 2 SCC 662
8
(2004) 12 SCC 555
7
under the Delhi Land Reforms Act 1954. The High Court while affirming the view
of the executing court made the following observations:
“…But in the present case, the Decree Holder had shown electricity bills
pertaining to the same Khasra number and the Court also considered that
most rural lands in Delhi have become urbanized and private unauthorized
colonies have mushroomed on agricultural lands. Therefore, in fact, the
said land had lost its character of agricultural land. Besides, the suit was
filed under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act for declaration and
possession along with injunction and other consequential reliefs. The
executing Court found that the objector had not shown as to how the said
suit was not maintainable. It relied upon the dicta of the Supreme Court
in Hira Lal Patni v. Sri Kali Nath, AIR 1962 SC 199 which held that “the
validity of a decree can be challenged in execution proceedings only on
the ground that the court which passed the decree was lacking inherent
jurisdiction in the sense that it could not have seisin of the case because
the subject matter was wholly foreign to its jurisdiction or that the
defendant was dead at the time the suit had been instituted or decree
passed, or some such other ground which could have the effect of
rendering the court entirely lacking in jurisdiction in respect of the subject
matter of the suit or over the parties to it. But in the instant case there was
no such inherent lack of jurisdiction.”
9 The above findings have not been squarely challenged in these
proceedings. The suit which was decreed on 30 May 2009 was a suit under
Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act which in any event, did not require a
determination of the question of title. The earlier suit was a suit for injunction. The
finding of fact which has been arrived at is to the effect that the land in question
had ceased to be agricultural in nature on the date of the institution of the suit.
Hence, it cannot be held that the decree of the trial court was a nullity. The land
was not governed, as a result, by the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954 since it was
not agricultural and the bar under Section 185 was not attracted. There was no 
8
inherent lack of jurisdiction and the objection to the execution of the decree was
without foundation.
10 For the above reasons, we find no merit in the civil appeal, which is
accordingly dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs.

….....................................CJI
[DIPAK MISRA]

…......................................J
[A.M. KHANWILKAR]

…......................................J
[Dr D Y CHANDRACHUD]
New Delhi
December 15, 2017

Section 26A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (hereinafter referred to as “the Drugs Act”). = A Section 33 ban, which was imposed on 294 FDCs in these cases, has been stayed by the Madras High Court, and the very exercise that we have proposed in the Delhi cases has apparently been carried out in this group of cases. A report of the expert committee of the DTAB to review the rationality and safety of 294 FDCs is taken on record. The report indicates that 42 FDCs reportedly were repeated or duplicate; 44 were already prohibited for manufacture in the country; 83 were considered rational; 56 were considered not rational; 49 required further generation of data; 17 were considered inadequate so far as rationality, safety and efficacy is concerned; and 3 other cases were sent for further examination by an expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The DTAB after review of the report and deliberations recommended that the FDC Ofloxacin and Prednisolone at serial number 75 under the category of GI in Annexure C does not appear to be rational 53 and should be re-examined. The list of the drugs mentioned in Annexure D are required to be prohibited/withdrawn from the market as these are not rational.

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 22972 OF 2017
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.7061 OF 2017
UNION OF INDIA AND ANR. …APPELLANTS
VERSUS
PFIZER LIMITED AND ORS. ...RESPONDENTS
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 22973-22981 OF 2017
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.10170-10178 OF 2017)
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 22982-23404 OF 2017
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NO.28960-29382 OF 2017)

TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.29 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.30 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.31 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.32 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.33 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.34 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.35 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.36 OF 2017
1
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.38 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.39 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.40 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.41 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.42 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.43 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.44 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.45 OF 2017
TRANSFER PETITION (C) NOS.1176-1182 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.258 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.259 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.260 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.261 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.262 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.263 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.264 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.265 OF 2017
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NO.266 OF 2017
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 23405-23472 OF 2017
(ARISING OUT OF SLP (C) NOS. 36044-36111 OF 2017
Diary No.28274 of 2017
2
TRANSFERRED CASE (C) NOS. 308-317 OF 2017
(ARISING OUT OF T.P. (C) NOS.2108-2117 OF 2017)
J U D G M E N T
R.F. Nariman, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. The present appeals and transfer petitions relate to the
interpretation of Section 26A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act,
1940 (hereinafter referred to as “the Drugs Act”). By the
impugned judgment of the learned single Judge of the Delhi
High Court dated 1.12.2016, the learned single Judge has held
that the mandatory condition precedent for the exercise of the
power by the Central Government under Section 26A of the
Drugs Act is the prior consultation of the Drugs Technical
Advisory Board (DTAB) set up under Section 5 of the said Act.
It must be stated that the learned single Judge differed from
judgments of the Karnataka and Madras High Courts in this
regard, wherein two other learned single Judges of two other
3
High Courts have held that such consultation with the DTAB is
not mandatory before exercise of such power under Section
26A. Since we are concerned only with this narrow question
that has been decided by the learned single Judge of the Delhi
High Court, we are not going into any other contentions that
have been raised by learned counsel for the parties.
3. The issue regarding the prevalence of many Fixed Dose
Combinations (hereinafter referred to “FDCs”) that were
flooding the Indian market and had not been tested for efficacy
or safety was considered by the Parliamentary Standing
Committee on Health and Family Welfare in its 59th Report in
May, 2012. The Standing Committee observed that some of
the State Licensing Authorities have issued manufacturing
licenses for a very large number of FDCs without prior
clearance from the Central Drugs Standard Control
Organization (CDSCO). Such FDCs can pose significant risks
to persons and need to be withdrawn immediately in that
human lives can be at risk. The Committee recommended that
a clear and transparent policy may be framed for approving
FDCs based on scientific principles, and that, at present,
4
Section 26A of the Drugs Act is adequate to deal with the
problem of FDCs not cleared by the CDSCO. Pursuant to the
aforesaid report, the Ministry of Health in October, 2012 issued
directions to States and Union Territories under Section 33P of
the Drugs Act not to grant licenses to FDCs falling under the
definition of “new drugs” and not approved by the Drug
Controller General of India (DCG(I)). The DCG(I), in turn, had
requested all States/Union Territories Drug Controllers to ask
concerned manufacturers in their respective States/Union
Territories to prove the safety and efficacy of such FDC licenses
issued prior to 1.10.2012, without due approval of the DCG(I),
within a period of 18 months, failing which such FDCs would be
considered for being prohibited, both qua manufacture and
marketing in the country. On 5.7.2013, the DCG(I) vide its
communication to the State Drug Controllers asked
manufacturers to make applications as per the procedure
prescribed within this 18 month period. We have been informed
that a large number of applications were received from the
manufacturers within the 18 month period for 2911 products,
which had to be subjected to examination.
5
4. With the approval of the Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare, the CDSCO constituted 10 different Committees for
examination of the said applications which were received on
3.2.2014. As the said Committees could examine only about
295 applications, on 16.9.2014, the Ministry of Health and
Family Welfare constituted a Committee under the
Chairmanship of Professor C.K. Kokate, Vice Chancellor of KLE
University, Belgaum, Karnataka for examining the safety and
efficacy as per the following terms of reference:
a. Those FDCs which are considered grossly
irrational/unsafe based on pharmacokinetic and
pharmacodynamic interaction, dosage
compatibilities of FDCs vis-a-vis that of single
ingredients present in the FDC and available
literature/evidence.
b. Those FDCs which the Committee may
consider necessary for further deliberation with any
of the 10 Expert Committees already constituted.
c. Those FDCs which are considered as safe
and effective based on pharmacokinetic and
pharmacodynamic interaction, dosage
compatibilities of FDCS vis-a-vis that of single
ingredients present in the FDC, available
literature/evidence, clinical experience and other
data available.
d. Those FDCs which may be considered as
rational, based on present data and knowledge
available. However, data in post market scenario is
6
required to be generated within a period of 1 to 2
years to confirm the same.
e. All the FDCs falling, under category “b” above
would be referred to the respective Expert
Committee out of 10 Expert Committees already
constituted.
Composition of Expert Committee for examining the
safety & efficacy of Fixed Dose Combinations
(FDCs) is as under:
S.No. Name of
Expert
Name &
Address of
Institutions
Qualificati
on
Status in the
Committee
1 Prof.
Chandrakant
Kokate
Vice-Chancellor,
KLE University,
Belgaum,
Karnataka &
Ex-President of
Pharmacy
Council of India.
M. Pharm,
Ph.D.
Chairman
2 Dr. C.L. Kaul Former Director,
NIPER, 432,
Mahatma
Society, Koth
Road, Pune-38.
B. Pharm,
Ph.D.
Member
3 Prof. Sanjay
Singh
Deptt. of
Pharmaceutics,
IIT, BHU,
Varanasi.
M. Pharm,
Ph.D.
Member
4 Dr. C.D.
Tripathi
Prof. & HOD
(Pharmacology),
Safdarjung
Hospital, New
MD,
Pharamacol
ogy
Member
7
Delhi.
5 Dr. Bikash
Medhi
Deptt. of
Pharmacology,
PGIMER,
Chandigarh.
MD,
Pharmacolo
gy
Member
6 Dr. Sanjeev
Sinha
Prof. (Medicine),
AIIMS,New Delhi
MD,
Medicine
Member
7 Dr. R.K. Khar Former Dean &
Head, Jamia
Hamdard,
403,Lalleshwari
Vatika, GH-12,
Sector-21D,
Faridabad-1210
01.
M. Pharm,
Ph.D.
Co-opted
Member
A series of meetings were conducted by the
Committee (6 meetings corresponding to 11 days)
as well as by a sub-group of the Committee (2
meetings) for examination of these approx. 6320
applications.
5. The first assessment report of the aforesaid Committee
was submitted to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on
19.1.2015 and was presented before the Ministry on 4.3.2015,
wherein the Committee was requested to mention detailed
reasons against each FDC considered as “irrational” by the
Committee. The Committee did not discuss FDCs already
approved by the DCG(I) and FDCs which were licensed pre
8
21.9.1988 i.e. before the introduction of Schedule Y to the
Drugs Act. The Committee stated, “in case the Committee
made any comment with respect to the above inadvertently, it
shall be treated as not discussed.”
6. On 16.4.2015, a detailed report in this regard was
submitted by the Kokate Committee to the Ministry stating the
reasons for declaring FDCs as irrational. We have been
informed that for the FDCs which were considered as irrational
by the Committee, the Committee wrote to various
manufacturers/associations calling upon them to submit
material to establish the therapeutic justification/rationality of
the FDCs. Replies received from such associations were
examined by the Expert Committee and final recommendations
therein were given only on 10.2.2016. In category A, following
the final recommendations of the Expert Committee, the Central
Government has banned 344 FDCs. In category B, 944 FDCs
needed to be considered/deliberated upon further, which meant
that they would be referred to the respective Expert
Committees out of the 10 Expert Committees already
constituted for further examination. In category C, 1493 FDCs
9
have been declared “rational” and we are informed that
approvals have since been issued by the DCG(I) in respect of
these FDCs. In category D, 126 FDCs have to be considered
for further generation of data by the prospective applicants. It is
only after carrying out of this exercise, that by notifications
dated 10.3.2016 issued under Section 26A, the Central
Government banned manufacture and sale of 344 FDCs.
 7. In March 2016, a large number of writ petitions were filed
in the Delhi High Court against the aforesaid notifications. The
impugned judgment then followed on 1.12.2016 disposing of
454 petitions, followed by an order dated 21.12.2016, in which
the Delhi High Court disposed of 51 further writ petitions in
terms of the judgment dated 1.12.2016.
8. Letters Patent Appeals were filed before the Delhi High
Court. Meanwhile, the Union of India filed transfer petitions in
this Court. This is how these matters have been heard by us in
civil appeals arising out of SLPs against the judgment of the
single Judge dated 1.12.2016 and in transfer cases in which the
10
LPAs pending before the Delhi High Court have been
transferred to us.
9. Ms. Pinky Anand, learned Additional Solicitor General,
took us through various provisions of the Drugs Act, and
emphasized that Section 26A does not expressly refer to the
DTAB. According to her, a large number of provisions of the
Drugs Act expressly refer to the DTAB in various contexts and,
therefore, it is not permissible for the Court to read a mandatory
requirement of consultation with the DTAB into Section 26A,
when such mandatory consultation is present in other
provisions, but is conspicuous by its absence in Section 26A.
She further went on to state that the provisions of Section 26A
are legislative in nature, and ultimately, once the Central
Government arrives at a satisfaction based on relevant
materials, judicial review of the Central Government decision
taken on the basis of Expert Committee reports is extremely
limited. She launched an all out attack against the single
Judge’s judgment and stated that the Madras and Karnataka
view, with which the Delhi High Court differed, is the correct
view in law. Shri Colin Gonsalves, learned senior counsel,
11
supported her arguments, and appeared in civil appeal arising
out of SLP(C) Nos.10170-10178 of 2017.
10. By way of reply, Shri C.S. Vaidyanathan, learned senior
counsel, argued that the impugned single Judge judgment was
based on an earlier Division Bench judgment in E. Merck
(India) Ltd. and another v. Union of India and another,
(2001) 90 DLT 60, which upheld the constitutional validity of
Section 26A on the ground that since the DTAB had to be
consulted before passing an order under Section 26A, the said
Section would pass constitutional muster. He also referred us
to this Court’s judgment in Systopic Laboratories (Pvt) Ltd. v.
Dr. Prem Gupta & Ors., 1994 Supp (1) SCC 160 in furtherance
of the same proposition. According to learned counsel, it is
clear on a reading of Section 5 of the Drugs Act, that it will
apply to both the Central Government and the State
Governments on all technical matters that arise out of the
administration of the Drugs Act. Since Section 26A deals only
with such technical matters, it is obvious that the DTAB’s advice
has to be taken in every such case as otherwise, if it were open
to the Central Government to pick and choose in which case
12
they would take such advice and which case they would not
take such advice, the provision itself would become arbitrary
and unreasonable. According to the learned senior counsel,
Section 5(5) of the Drugs Act is very important in that it is the
DTAB alone who may constitute sub-committees consisting of
persons who are not members of the DTAB, who may consider
particular matters, thereby making it clear that the DTAB alone
can induct experts who are outside Section 5 and not the
Central Government. He further referred to the Drugs and
Cosmetics Rules, 1945 (hereinafter referred to as the “Drugs
Rules”), in particular Rules 21, 68A, 122A, 122D and 122DA, to
buttress his submission that a detailed filtration process has to
be gone through before a drug can be manufactured and put on
the market and that the Central Government cannot ban such
drug without consulting the technical expert under the Drugs
Act namely, the DTAB, that is set up under Section 5. He also
argued that Sections 10A and 26A were introduced by way of
an amendment in 1982 and this being so, it is clear that it is
assumed by Parliament that Section 5 of the Drugs Act will be
13
read along with both of them so as to make the DTAB a
mandatory consultee before action is taken under Section 26A.
11. Shri Vashisht, learned senior counsel appearing for some
of the respondents, adverted to Section 5 and stated that it was
in two parts, the first being advice to the Central Government
on all technical matters arising out of the administration of the
Drugs Act and the second (and distinct part) being to carry out
other functions assigned to it by the Drugs Act. It is clear,
therefore, that in all matters which fall within the first part, the
advice of the Board would be mandatory before the Central
Government were to take action under Section 26A. He also
referred us to Section 7A of the Drugs Act and argued that
when the said Drugs Act expressly states that nothing in
Section 5 is to apply, it is expressly so stated and that,
therefore, the necessary inference would be that Section 5
would apply in all situations other than those covered by
Section 7A. He further argued that Section 26A does not have a
non obstante clause which puts out of harm’s way Section 5,
but only a “without prejudice” clause and that too restricted only
to Chapter IV, making it clear that Section 26A would have to be
14
read along with Section 5. According to him, therefore, there is
no reason to interfere with the judgment of the Delhi High
Court.
12. Dr. A.M. Singhvi, learned senior counsel, argued that on a
cursory look at the persons who constitute the DTAB under
Section 5, it is an extremely high ranking body which is the
technical expert set up by the statute and, therefore, the High
Court judgment is right in stating that in all cases arising under
Section 26A prior consultation with the DTAB is a must. He
argued, in the alternative, that on a purposive and harmonious
construction of the Drugs Act as a whole, a middle approach
could be that the Central Government may, in emergent
situations, not consult the DTAB, but in all other situations
should give reasons why the DTAB was not consulted,
otherwise the exercise under Section 26A would be found to be
constitutionally infirm. According to the learned senior counsel,
hearing is mandatory under the said Section and the High
Court’s reading in the requirement of hearing into the said
Section was absolutely correct. He also referred us to
judgments dealing with not only how hearing must be added
15
when it is absent, but to a judgment of this Court which stated
that conditional legislation, of which Section 26A is a clear
instance, would also require hearing the affected parties.
13. In answer to these submissions, the learned Additional
Solicitor General, in rejoinder, went through the 1982
amendment, which introduced Section 26A, and stated that
Sections 29 and 35 thereof make it clear that amendments
were made in certain Sections with reference to the DTAB
under Section 5 and that, therefore, the omission of any
reference to the DTAB in Section 26A is deliberate. She also
went on to state that Rule 66 of the Drugs Rules, which deals
with cancellation of individual licenses and which requires
compliance with natural justice, should be contrasted with
Section 26A of the Drugs Act which, according to her, is a
legislative power as opposed to an administrative power.
14. Having heard learned counsel for the parties, it is first
important to set out some of the provisions of the Drugs Act.
“5. The Drugs Technical Advisory Board.—
(1) The Central Government shall, as soon as may
be, constitute a Board (to be called the Drugs
Technical Advisory Board) to advise the Central
16
Government and the State Governments on
technical matters arising out of the administration of
this Act and to carry out the other functions
assigned to it by this Act.
(2) The Board shall consist of the following
members, namely:—
(i) the Director General of Health Services, ex
officio, who shall be Chairman;
(ii) the Drugs Controller, India, ex officio;
(iii) the Director of the Central Drugs Laboratory,
Calcutta, ex officio;
(iv) the Director of the Central Research Institute,
Kasauli, ex officio;
(v) the Director of the Indian Veterinary Research
Institute, Izatnagar, ex officio;
(vi) the President of the Medical Council of India, ex
officio;
(vii) the President of the Pharmacy Council of India,
ex officio;
(viii) the Director of the Central Drug Research
Institute, Lucknow, ex officio;
(ix) two persons to be nominated by the Central
Government from among persons who are in
charge of drugs control in the States;
(x) one person, to be elected by the Executive
Committee of the Pharmacy Council of India, from
among teachers in pharmacy or pharmaceutical
chemistry or pharmacology on the staff of an Indian
university or a college affiliated thereto;
(xi) one person, to be elected by the Executive
Committee of the Medical Council of India, from
among teachers in medicine or therapeutics on the
17
staff of an Indian university or a college affiliated
thereto;
(xii) one person to be nominated by the Central
Government from the pharmaceutical industry;
(xiii) one pharmacologist to be elected by the
Governing Body of the Indian Council of Medical
Research;
(xiv) one person to be elected by the Central
Council of the Indian Medical Association;
(xv) one person to be elected by the Council of the
Indian Pharmaceutical Association;
(xvi) two persons holding the appointment of
Government Analyst under this Act, to be nominated
by the Central Government.
(3) The nominated and elected members of the
Board shall hold office for three years, but shall be
eligible for re-nomination and re-election:
Provided that the person nominated or elected, as
the case may be, under clause (ix) or clause (x) or
clause (xi) or clause (xvi) of sub-section (2) shall
hold office for so long as he holds the appointment
of the office by virtue of which he was nominated or
elected to the Board.
(4) The Board may, subject to the previous approval
of the Central Government, make bye-laws fixing a
quorum and regulating its own procedure and the
conduct of all business to be transacted by it.
(5) The Board may constitute sub-committees and
may appoint to such sub-committees for such
periods, not exceeding three years, as it may
decide, or temporarily for the consideration of
particular matters, persons who are not members of
the Board.
18
(6) The functions of the Board may be exercised
notwithstanding any vacancy therein.
(7) The Central Government shall appoint a person
to be Secretary of the Board and shall provide the
Board with such clerical and other staff as the
Central Government considers necessary.
6. The Central Drugs Laboratory.—
(1) The Central Government shall, as soon as may
be, establish a Central Drugs Laboratory under the
control of a Director to be appointed by the Central
Government, to carry out the functions entrusted to
it by this Act or any rules made under this Chapter:
Provided that, if the Central Government so
prescribes, the functions of the Central Drugs
Laboratory in respect of any drug or class of drugs
or cosmetic or class of cosmetics shall be carried
out at the Central Research Institute, Kasauli, or at
any other prescribed Laboratory and the functions
of the Director of the Central Drugs Laboratory in
respect of such drug or class of drugs or such
cosmetic or class of cosmetics shall be exercised by
the Director of that Institute or of that other
Laboratory, as the case may be.
(2) the Central Government may, after consultation
with the Board, make rules prescribing—
(a) the functions of the Central Drugs Laboratory;
********
(d) the procedure for the submission of the said
Laboratory under Chapter IV or Chapter IVA of
samples of drugs or cosmetics for analysis or test,
the forms of Laboratory’s reports thereon and the
fees payable in respect of such reports;
19
(e) such other matters as may be necessary or
expedient to enable the said Laboratory to carry out
its functions;
(f) the matters necessary to be prescribed for the
purposes of the proviso to sub-section (1).
7. The Drugs Consultative Committee.—
(1) The Central Government may constitute an
advisory committee to be called “the Drugs
Consultative Committee” to advise the Central
Government, the State Governments and the Drugs
Technical Advisory Board on any matter tending to
secure uniformity throughout India in the
administration of this Act.
(2) The Drugs Consultative Committee shall consist
of two representatives of the Central Government to
be nominated by that Government and one
representative of each State Government to be
nominated by the State Government concerned.
(3) The Drugs Consultative Committee shall meet
when required to do so by the Central Government
and shall have power to regulate its own procedure.
7A. Sections 5 and 7 not to apply to Ayurvedic,
Siddha or Unani drugs.—
Nothing contained in sections 5 and 7 shall apply to
Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani drugs.
8. Standards of quality.—
(1) For the purposes of this Chapter, the expression
“standard quality” means—
(a) in relation to a drug, that the drug complies with
the standard set out in the Second Schedule, and
(b) in relation to a cosmetic, that the cosmetic
compiles with such standard as may be prescribed.
20
(2) The Central Government, after consultation with
the Board and after giving by notification in the
Official Gazette not less than three months’ notice of
its intention so to do, may by a like notification add
to or otherwise amend the Second Schedule, for the
purposes of this Chapter, and thereupon the
Second Schedule shall be deemed to be amended
accordingly.
10. Prohibition of import of certain drugs or
cosmetics.—
From such date as may be fixed by the Central
Government by notification in the Official Gazette in
this behalf, no person shall import—
(a) any drug or cosmetic which is not of standard
quality;
(b) any misbranded drug or misbranded or spurious
cosmetic;
(bb) any adulterated or spurious drug;
(c) any drug or cosmetic for the import of which a
licence is prescribed, otherwise than under, and in
accordance with, such licence;
(d) any patent or proprietary medicine, unless there
is displayed in the prescribed manner on the label
or container thereof the true formula or list of active
ingredients contained in it together with the
quantities thereof;
(e) any drug which by means of any statement,
design or device accompanying it or by any other
means, purports or claims to cure or mitigate any
such disease or ailment, or to have any such other
effect, as may be prescribed;
(ee) any cosmetic containing any ingredient which
may render it unsafe or harmful for use under the
directions indicated or recommended;
21
(f) any drug or cosmetic the import of which is
prohibited by rule made under this Chapter:
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to
the import, subject to prescribed conditions, of small
quantities of any drug for the purpose of
examination, test or analysis or for personal use:
Provided further that the Central Government may,
after consultation with the Board, by notification in
the Official Gazette, permit, subject to any
conditions specified in the notification, the import of
any drug or class of drugs not being of standard
quality.
12. Power of Central Government to make rules.

(1) The Central Government may, after consultation
with or on the recommendation of the Board and
after previous publication by notification in the
Official Gazette, make rules for the purpose of
giving effect to the provisions of this Chapter:
Provided that consultation with the Board may be
dispensed with if the Central Government is of
opinion that circumstances have arisen which
render it necessary to make rules without such
consultation, but in such a case the Board shall be
consulted within six months of the making of the
rules and the Central Government shall take into
consideration any suggestions which the Board may
make in relation to the amendment of the said rules.
(2) xxx xxx xxx
16. Standards of quality.—
(1) For the purposes of this Chapter, the expression
“standard quality” means—
(a) in relation to a drug, that the drug complies with
the standard set out in the Second Schedule, and
22
(b) in relation to a cosmetic, that the cosmetic
complies with such standard as may be prescribed.
(2) The Central Government, after consultation with
the Board and after giving by notification in the
Official Gazette not less than three months’ notice of
its intention so to do, may by a like notification add
to or otherwise amend the Second Schedule for the
purposes of this Chapter, and thereupon the
Second Schedule shall be deemed to be amended
accordingly.
18. Prohibition of manufacture and sale of
certain drugs and cosmetics.—
From such date as may be fixed by the State
Government by notification in the Official Gazette in
this behalf, no person shall himself or by any other
person on his behalf—
(a) manufacture for sale or for distribution, or sell, or
stock or exhibit or offer for sale, or distribute—
(i) any drug which is not of a standard quality, or is
misbranded, adulterated or spurious;
(ii) any cosmetic which is not of a standard quality
or is misbranded, adulterated or spurious;
(iii) any patent or proprietary medicine, unless there
is displayed in the prescribed manner on the label
or container thereof the true formula or list of active
ingredients contained in it together with the
quantities thereof;
(iv) any drug which by means of any statement,
design or device accompanying it or by any other
means, purports or claims to prevent, cure or
mitigate any such disease or ailment, or to have any
such other effect as may be prescribed;
23
(v) any cosmetic containing any ingredient which
may render it unsafe or harmful for use under the
directions indicated or recommended; and
(vi) any drug or cosmetic in contravention of any of
the provisions of this Chapter or any rule made
thereunder;
(b) sell, or stock or exhibit or offer for sale, or
distribute any drug or cosmetic which has been
imported or manufactured in contravention of any of
the provisions of this Act or any rule made
thereunder;
(c) manufacture for sale or for distribution, or sell, or
stock or exhibit or offer for sale, or distribute any
drug or cosmetic, except under, and in accordance
with the conditions of, a licence issued for such
purpose under this Chapter:
Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to
the manufacture, subject to prescribed conditions,
of small quantities of any drug for the purpose of
examination, test or analysis:
Provided further that the Central Government may,
after consultation with the Board, by notification in
the Official Gazette, permit, subject to any
conditions specified in the notification, the
manufacture for sale, or for distribution, sale,
stocking or exhibiting or offering for sale or
distribution of any drug or class of drugs not being
of standard quality.
26A. Powers of Central Government to prohibit
manufacture, etc., of drug and cosmetic in
public interest.—
Without prejudice to any other provision contained
in this Chapter, if the Central Government is
satisfied, that the use of any drug or cosmetic is
likely to involve any risk to human beings or animals
24
or that any drug does not have the therapeutic value
claimed or purported to be claimed for it or contains
ingredients and in such quantity for which there is
no therapeutic justification and that in the public
interest it is necessary or expedient so to do, then,
that Government may, by notification in the Official
Gazette, regulate, restrict or prohibit the
manufacture, sale or distribution of such drug or
cosmetic.
33. Power of Central Government to make rules.

(1) The Central Government may after consultation
with, or on the recommendation of, the Board and
after previous publication by notification in the
Official Gazette, make rules for the purpose of
giving effect to the provisions of this Chapter:
Provided that consultation with the Board may be
dispensed with if the Central Government is of
opinion that circumstances have arisen which
render it necessary to make rules without such
consultation, but in such a case the Board shall be
consulted within six months of the making of the
rules and the Central Government shall take into
consideration any suggestions which the Board may
make in relation to the amendment of the said rules.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the
foregoing power, such rules may—
(a) provide for the establishment of laboratories for
testing and analysing drugs or cosmetics;
(b) prescribe the qualifications and duties of
Government Analysts and the qualifications of
Inspectors;
(c) prescribe the methods of test or analysis to be
employed in determining whether a drug or
cosmetic is of standard quality;
25
(d) prescribe, in respect of biological and
organometallic compounds, the units or methods of
standardisation;
(dd) prescribe under clause (d) of section 17A the
colour or colours which a drug may bear or contain
for purposes of colouring;
(dda) prescribe under clause (d) of section 17E the
colour or colours which a cosmetic may bear or
contain for the purpose of colouring;
(e) prescribe the forms of licences for the
manufacture for sale or for distribution, for the sale
and for the distribution of drugs or any specified
drug or class of drugs or of cosmetics or any
specified cosmetic or class of cosmetics, the form of
application for such licences, the conditions subject
to which such licences may be issued, the authority
empowered to issue the same, the qualifications of
such authority and the fees payable therefor; and
provide for the cancellation or suspension of such
licences in any case where any provision of this
Chapter or the rules made thereunder is
contravened or any of the conditions subject to
which they are issued is not complied with;
(ee) prescribe the records, registers or other
documents to be kept and maintained under section
18B;
(eea) prescribe the fees for the inspection (for the
purposes of grant or renewal of licences) of
premises, wherein any drug or cosmetic is being or
is proposed to be manufactured;
(eeb) prescribe the manner in which copies are to
be certified under sub-section (2A) of section 22;
(f) specify the diseases or ailments which a drug
may not purport or claim to prevent, cure or mitigate
26
and such other effects which a drug may not purport
or claim to have;
(g) prescribe the conditions subject to which small
quantities of drugs may be manufactured for the
purpose of examination, test or analysis;
(h) require the date of manufacture and the date of
expiry of potency to be clearly or truly stated on the
label or container of any specified drug or class of
drugs, and prohibit the sale, stocking or exhibition
for sale, or distribution of the said drug or class of
drugs after the expiry of a specified period from the
date of manufacture or after the expiry of the date of
potency;
(i) prescribe the conditions to be observed in the
packing in bottles, packages, and other containers
of drugs or cosmetics, including the use of packing
material which comes into direct contact with the
drugs and prohibit the sale, stocking or exhibition for
sale, or distribution of drugs or cosmetics packed in
contravention of such conditions;
(j) regulate the mode of labelling packed drugs or
cosmetics, and prescribe the matters which shall or
shall not be included in such labels;
(k) prescribe the maximum proportion of any
poisonous substance which may be added or
contained in any drug, prohibit the manufacture,
sale or stocking or exhibition for sale, or distribution
of any drug in which that proportion is exceeded,
and specify substances which shall be deemed to
be poisonous for the purposes of this Chapter and
the rules made thereunder;
(l) require that the accepted scientific name of any
specified drug shall be displayed in the prescribed
manner on the label or wrapper of any patent or
proprietary medicine containing such drug;
27
[****]
(n) prescribe the powers and duties of Inspectors
and the qualifications of the authority to which such
Inspectors shall be subordinate and specify the
drugs or classes of drugs or cosmetics or classes of
cosmetics in relation to which and the conditions,
limitations or restrictions subject to which, such
powers and duties may be exercised or performed;
(o) prescribe the forms of report to be given by
Government Analysts, and the manner of
application for test or analysis under section 26 and
the fees payable therefor;
(p) specify the offences against this Chapter or any
rule made thereunder in relation to which an order
of confiscation may be made under section 31;
(q) provide for the exemption, conditionally or
otherwise, from all or any of the provisions of this
Chapter or the rules made thereunder, of any
specified drug or class of drugs or cosmetic or class
of cosmetics; and
(r) sum which may be specified by the Central
Government under section 32-B.
33EED. Power of Central Government to prohibit
manufacture, etc., of Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani
drugs in public interest.—
Without prejudice to any other provision contained
in this Chapter, if the Central Government is
satisfied on the basis of any evidence or other
material available before it that the use of any
Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani drug is likely to involve
any risk to human beings or animals or that any
such drug does not have the therapeutic value
claimed or purported to be claimed for it and that in
the public interest it is necessary or expedient so to
do then, that Government may, by notification in the
28
Official Gazette, prohibit the manufacture, sale or
distribution of such drug.
33N. Power of Central Government to make
rules.—
(1) The Central Government may, after consultation
with, or on the recommendation of, the Board and
after previous publication by notification in the
Official Gazette, make rules for the purpose of
giving effect to the provisions of this Chapter:
Provided that consultation with the Board may be
dispensed with if the Central Government is of
opinion that circumstances have arisen which
render it necessary to make rules without such
consultation, but in such a case, the Board shall be
consulted within six months of the making of the
rules and the Central Government shall take into
consideration any suggestions which the Board may
make in relation to the amendment of the said rules.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the
foregoing power, such rules may—
(a) provide for the establishment of laboratories for
testing and analysing Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani
drugs;
(b) prescribe the qualification and duties of
Government Analysts and the qualifications of
Inspectors;
(c) prescribe the methods of test or analysis to be
employed in determining whether any Ayurvedic,
Siddha or Unani drug is labelled with the true list of
the ingredients which it is purported to contain;
(d) specify any substance as a poisonous
substance;
(e) prescribe the forms of licences for the
manufacture for sale of Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani
29
drugs, and for sale of processed Ayurvedic, Siddha
or Unani drugs, the form of application for such
licences, the conditions subject to which such
licences may be issued, the authority empowered to
issue the same and the fees payable therefor; and
provide for the cancellation or suspension of such
licences in any case where any provision of this
Chapter or rules made thereunder is contravened or
any of the conditions subject to which they are
issued is not complied with;
(f) prescribe the conditions to be observed in the
packing of Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs
including the use of packing material which comes
into direct contact with the drugs, regulate the mode
of labelling packed drugs and prescribe the matters
which shall or shall not be included in such labels;
(g) prescribe the conditions subject to which small
quantities of Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani drugs may
be manufactured for the purpose of examination,
test or analysis;
(gg) prescribe under clause (d) of section 33EE the
colour or colours which an Ayurvedic, Siddha or
Unani drug may bear or contain for purposes of
colouring;
(gga) prescribe the standards for Ayurvedic, Siddha
or Unani drugs under section 33EEB;
(ggb) prescribe the records, registers or other
documents to be kept and maintained under section
33 KB; and
(h) any other matter which is to be or may be
prescribed under this Chapter.”
15. Having heard learned counsel for the parties, it is clear
that Section 26A has been introduced by an amendment in
30
1982. A bare reading of this provision would show, firstly, that it
is without prejudice to any other provision contained in this
Chapter (meaning thereby Chapter IV). This expression only
means that apart from the Central Government’s other powers
contained in Chapter IV, Section 26A is an additional power
which must be governed by its own terms. Under Section 26A,
the Central Government must be “satisfied” that any drug or
cosmetic is likely to involve (i) any risk to human beings or
families; or (ii) that any drug does not have the therapeutic
value claimed or purported to be claimed for it; or (iii) contains
ingredients in such quantity for which there is no therapeutic
justification. Obviously, the Central Government has to apply its
mind to any or all of these three factors which has to be based
upon its “satisfaction” as to the existence of any or all of these
factors. The power exercised under Section 26A must further be
exercised only if it is found necessary or expedient to do so in
public interest. When the power is so exercised, it may
regulate, restrict or prohibit manufacture, sale or distribution of
any drug or cosmetic.
31
16. Undoubtedly, Section 26A has to be read with the rest of
the Drugs Act. So read, it is clear that unlike Section 6(2),
Section 8(2), second proviso to Section 10, proviso to Section
12(1), Section 16(2), proviso to Section 18(2), Section 33 and
Section 33N, there is no explicit requirement to consult the
DTAB set up under Section 5 of the Drugs Act. The question is
did the Parliament do so deliberately or is it something that the
Court should read into the provision?
17. As has been stated hereinabove, Section 26A was
brought in by an amendment in 1982. The amendment
specifically made changes in Sections 33 and 33N in which it
added the words “on the recommendation of the Board”. From
this, it is clear that Parliament in the very Amendment Act which
introduced Section 26A made certain changes which involved
the DTAB under Section 5 of the said Act. It is clear that the
additional power that is given to the Central Government under
Section 26A does not refer to and, therefore, mandate any
previous consultation with the DTAB. On the contrary, the
Central Government may be “satisfied” on any relevant material
that a drug is likely to involve any risk to human beings etc. as a
32
result of which it is necessary in public interest to regulate,
restrict or prohibit manufacture, sale or distribution thereof. So
long as the Central Government’s satisfaction can be said to be
based on relevant material, it is not possible to say that not
having consulted the DTAB, the power exercised under the said
Section would be non est. Take the case of an FDC that is
banned in 50 countries of the world owing to the fact that the
said FDC involved significant risk to human beings. Assuming
that the Central Government is satisfied based on this fact
alone, which in turn is based on expert committee reports in
various nations which pointed out the deleterious effects of the
said drug, can it be said that without consulting the DTAB set up
under Section 5, the exercise of the power under Section 26A
to prohibit the manufacture or sale or distribution of a drug that
is banned in 50 countries would be bad only because the DTAB
has not been consulted? The obvious answer is no inasmuch
as the Central Government’s satisfaction is based upon
relevant material, namely, the fact that 50 nations have banned
the aforesaid drug, which in turn is based on expert committee
reports taken in each of those nations. Take another example.
33
Suppose the Central Government were to ban an FDC on the
ground that, in the recent past, it has been apprised of the fact
that the FDCs taken over a short period of time would lead to
loss of life, which has come to the notice of the Central
Government through reports from various district authorities, in
let us say, a majority of districts in which the said FDC has been
consumed. Could not the Central Government then base its
ban order on material collected from district authorities which
state that this particular drug leads to human mortality and
ought, therefore, to be prohibited? The obvious answer again is
yes for the reason that the Central Government has been
satisfied on relevant material that it is necessary in public
interest to ban such drug. Examples of this nature can be
multiplied to show that the width of the power granted under
Section 26A cannot be cut down by artificially cutting down the
language of Section 26A.
18. We were referred to a judgment of this Court in Systopic
Laboratories (supra) at 169. Paragraph 19 of the said
judgment reads as follows:-
34
“19. Having considered the submissions made by
the learned counsel for the petitioners and the
learned Additional Solicitor General in this regard,
we must express our inability to make an
assessment about the relative merits of the various
studies and reports which have been placed before
us. Such an evaluation is required to be done by the
Central Government while exercising its powers
under Section 26-A of the Act on the basis of expert
advice and the Act makes provision for obtaining
such advice through the Board and the DCC.”
19. It is clear that a stray sentence in a judgment without a
focused argument cannot be considered as the ratio of such a
judgment. Also, on a careful reading of the second sentence in
paragraph 19, it is clear that all that is stated by this Court is
that, while exercising its power under Section 26A of the Drugs
Act, the basis of the Central Government’s decision must be
“expert advice”. The sentence then goes on to add that the
Drugs Act makes provision for obtaining such advice through
the Board and the DCC. According to us, there was no focused
argument on whether such advice is or is not mandatory before
powers under Section 26A of the Drugs Act can be exercised,
and merely reading a stray sentence in this judgment does not
lead to such a conclusion. Equally, the single Judge’s reliance
upon a Division Bench judgment contained in E. Merck (supra),
35
where, in holding Section 26A to be constitutional, the Court
stated:
“Before the Government records its satisfaction to
prohibit the manufacture, sale, distribution etc. of a
particular drug, opinion of the DTAB and/or Drugs
Consultative Committee is obtained.”
This is an equally stray sentence and what has been
stated with respect to Systopic Laboratories (supra), applies
equally to this sentence.
20. We have now to consider certain other arguments made
on behalf of the respondents. One argument was that Section
5 is in two parts and that the first part necessarily applies to all
technical matters that arise out of the administration of the
Drugs Act, and that, therefore, the Central Government is
bound to take the advice of the DTAB in all such matters. We
must first advert to the fact that the DTAB is only an advisory
body. No doubt, it would be desirable for the Central
Government to take its advice on technical matters arising out
of the administration of the Drugs Act, but this does not lead to
the conclusion that if such advice is not taken power under
Section 26A cannot be exercised. Indeed, the Central
36
Government’s satisfaction may be based on a number of
factors, one of which may be advice tendered to it by the DTAB
under Section 5. There is no warrant to read Section 26A to
constrict the wide powers granted to the Central Government
by a so-called harmonious construction of the statute. Another
argument made is that Section 5 makes it clear that the DTAB
alone can constitute sub-committees which may have persons
who are not members of the Board on them. We are afraid that
this again does not lead us very far. It is clear that the reason
for Section 5(5) is completely different. Sub-committees may
be appointed for such periods not exceeding three years or
temporarily for the consideration of particular matters. Such
sub-committees may be set up in the wisdom of the DTAB for
short periods of time or temporarily to consider certain matters
and make reports which the DTAB may then utilize. This is a
power of the DTAB which can be exercised when the DTAB
deems it desirable. From this power, it cannot be inferred, as a
matter of logic, that since Section 5(5) permits persons who are
not members of the board to sit on sub-committees, the Central
Government may not, under Section 26A, refer to any persons
37
other than those who are board members. This argument,
therefore, is also rejected.
21. Yet another argument has been made that since Section
10A and 26A were brought in together by an Amendment Act in
1982, it must, therefore, somehow be assumed that the
Amendment Act necessarily included a mandatory consultation
with the DTAB set up under Section 5. We have already
pointed out how the very amendment Act of 1982 also
amended Sections 33 and 33N by referring to the DTAB and
that, therefore, it is obvious that the omission of any reference
to the DTAB under Sections 10A and 26A cannot but be said to
be deliberate. This argument also need not detain us further.
22. A negative argument was made stating that Section 7A of
the Drugs Act makes it clear that Section 5 will not apply to
Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani drugs and that, therefore, it will
apply to all other drugs. The reason for Section 7A is again
something very different from what has been argued. It must
first be pointed out that under Chapter IVA, which is a separate
Chapter introduced by Act 13 of 1964, Ayurvedic, Siddha and
38
Unani drugs are completely separately dealt with. Indeed,
Section 33A, which must be read with Section 7A, expressly
provides that save as provided in this Drugs Act, nothing
contained in this Chapter, i.e. Chapter IV, shall apply to
Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani drugs. Chapter IVA consists of a
separate and distinct drill to be followed in the case of
Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs. Under Section 33C, there
is a separate technical advisory board for Ayurvedic and Unani
drugs and a separate consultative committee for Ayurvedic,
Siddha and Unani drugs (see Section 33D). When Section 7A
says that nothing in section 5 shall apply to Ayurvedic, Siddha
or Unani drugs, all that it affirms is that the DTAB set up under
Section 5 will apply to all drugs except Ayurvedic, Siddha or
Unani medicines. The Latin maxim “expressio unius est
exclusio alterius” cannot apply, as has been held in State of
Karnataka v Union of India & Ors., (1977) 4 SCC 608 at 662,
making it clear that the said maxim should be very carefully
applied and when misapplied would turn out to be a “dangerous
master” as opposed to a “useful servant”. This has also been
held in Assistant Collector of Central Excise, Calcutta
39
Division v. National Tobacco Co. of India Ltd., (1972) 2 SCC
560 at 575 as follows:
“The High Court's view was based on an application
of the rule of construction that where a mode of
performing a duty is laid down by law it must be
performed in that mode or not at all. This rule flows
from the maxim: “Expressio unius ast exclusio
alterius”. But, as was pointed out by Wills, J.,
in Colguoboun v. Brooks [(1888) 21 QBD 52, 62]
this maxim “is often a valuable servant, but a
dangerous master….”. The rule is subservient to the
basic principle that Courts must endeavour to
ascertain the legislative intent and purpose, and
then adopt a rule of construction which effectuates
rather than one that may defeat these. “
This argument, therefore, also need not detain us.
23. It was also argued that Section 26A had no non obstante
clause to keep Section 5 out of harm’s way. On our
construction of Section 26A, it is clear that no such non
obstante clause was necessary in that the width of the
expression “is satisfied” contained in Section 26A cannot be cut
down by reference to Section 5. As has been stated by us
hereinabove, the expression “without prejudice” makes it clear
that Section 26A is an additional power given to the Central
Government which must be exercised on its own terms.
40
24. An argument was made that unless the provisions of
Section 5 requiring consultation with the DTAB are read into
Section 26A, the said Section would be arbitrary. In our
opinion, there are sufficient indicators in the Section to eschew
any ground of arbitrariness. The power can only be exercised
based on satisfaction of material that is relevant to form an
opinion that the drug in question falls within any of the three
categories outlined by the Section and that, further, it is
necessary or expedient to either regulate, restrict or prohibit
manufacture, sale or distribution of the said drug in public
interest. Indeed, this is made explicit in Section 33 EED of the
Drugs Act, wherein a similar power is given to the Central
Government qua Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani drugs, where the
Section states:
“… the Central Government is satisfied on the basis
of any evidence or other material available before it
that …”
25. If the power under Section 26A is exercised on the basis
of irrelevant material or on the basis of no material, the
satisfaction itself that is contemplated by Section 26A would not
41
be there and the exercise of the power would be struck down
on this ground. Further, it is argued that the provision may be
read down to make it constitutionally valid, but in so doing,
words cannot be added as a matter of constitutional doctrine.
26. In Cellular Operators Association of India and others
v. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and others, (2016)
7 SCC 703 at 740-741, this Court held as under:
“50. But it was said that the aforesaid Regulation
should be read down to mean that it would apply
only when the fault is that of the service provider.
We are afraid that such a course is not open to us in
law, for it is well settled that the doctrine of reading
down would apply only when general words used in
a statute or regulation can be confined in a
particular manner so as not to infringe a
constitutional right. This was best exemplified in one
of the earliest judgments dealing with the doctrine of
reading down, namely, the judgment of the Federal
Court in Hindu Women’s Rights to Property Act,
1937, In re [Hindu Women’s Rights to Property Act,
1937, In re, AIR 1941 FC 72]. In that judgment, the
word “property” in Section 3 of the Hindu Women’s
Rights to Property Act was read down so as not to
include agricultural land, which would be outside the
Central Legislature’s powers under the Government
of India Act, 1935. This is done because it is
presumed that the legislature did not intend to
transgress constitutional limitations. While so
reading down the word “property”, the Federal Court
held:
42
“… If the restriction of the general words
to purposes within the power of the
legislature would be to leave an Act with
nothing or next to nothing in it, or an Act
different in kind, and not merely in
degree, from an Act in which the general
words were given the wider meaning,
then it is plain that the Act as a whole
must be held invalid, because in such
circumstances it is impossible to assert
with any confidence that the legislature
intended the general words which it has
used to be construed only in the
narrower sense: Owners of SS Kalibia v.
Wilson [(1910) 11 CLR 689 (Aust)],
Vacuum Oil Co. Pty. Ltd. v. Queensland
[(1934) 51 CLR 677 (Aust)], R. v.
Commonwealth Court of Conciliation
and Arbitration, ex p Whybrow & Co.
[(1910) 11 CLR 1 (Aust)] and British
Imperial Oil Co. Ltd. v. Federal Commr.
of Taxation [(1925) 35 CLR 422 (Aust)].”
51. This judgment was followed by a Constitution
Bench of this Court in DTC v. Mazdoor Congress
[1991 Supp (1) SCC 600 : 1991 SCC (L&S) 1213].
In that case, a question arose as to whether a
particular regulation which conferred power on an
authority to terminate the services of a permanent
and confirmed employee by issuing a notice
terminating his services, or by making payment in
lieu of such notice without assigning any reasons
and without any opportunity of hearing to the
employee, could be said to be violative of the
appellants’ fundamental rights. Four of the learned
Judges who heard the case, the Chief Justice alone
dissenting on this aspect, decided that the
regulation cannot be read down, and must,
therefore, be held to be unconstitutional. In the lead
43
judgment on this aspect by Sawant, J., this Court
stated: (SCC pp. 728-29, para 255)
“255. It is thus clear that the doctrine of
reading down or of recasting the statute
can be applied in limited situations. It is
essentially used, firstly, for saving a
statute from being struck down on
account of its unconstitutionality. It is an
extension of the principle that when two
interpretations are possible — one
rendering it constitutional and the other
making it unconstitutional, the former
should be preferred. The
unconstitutionality may spring from
either the incompetence of the
legislature to enact the statute or from
its violation of any of the provisions of
the Constitution. The second situation
which summons its aid is where the
provisions of the statute are vague and
ambiguous and it is possible to gather
the intentions of the legislature from the
object of the statute, the context in
which the provision occurs and the
purpose for which it is made. However,
when the provision is cast in a definite
and unambiguous language and its
intention is clear, it is not permissible
either to mend or bend it even if such
recasting is in accord with good reason
and conscience. In such circumstances,
it is not possible for the court to remake
the statute. Its only duty is to strike it
down and leave it to the legislature if it
so desires, to amend it. What is further,
if the remaking of the statute by the
courts is to lead to its distortion that
course is to be scrupulously avoided.
One of the situations further where the
44
doctrine can never be called into play is
where the statute requires extensive
additions and deletions. Not only it is no
part of the court’s duty to undertake
such exercise, but it is beyond its
jurisdiction to do so.”
(emphasis supplied)
52. Applying the aforesaid test to the impugned
Regulation, it is clear that the language of the
Regulation is definite and unambiguous — every
service provider has to credit the account of the
calling consumer by one rupee for every single call
drop which occurs within its network. The
Explanatory Memorandum to the aforesaid
Regulation further makes it clear, in Para 19 thereof,
that the Authority has come to the conclusion that
call drops are instances of deficiency in service
delivery on the part of the service provider. It is thus
unambiguously clear that the impugned Regulation
is based on the fact that the service provider is
alone at fault and must pay for that fault. In these
circumstances, to read a proviso into the Regulation
that it will not apply to consumers who are at fault
themselves is not to restrict general words to a
particular meaning, but to add something to the
provision which does not exist, which would be
nothing short of the court itself legislating. For this
reason, it is not possible to accept the learned
Attorney General’s contention that the impugned
Regulation be read down in the manner suggested
by him.”
27. Also, as a matter of statutory interpretation, words can
only be added if the literal interpretation of the Section leads to
an absurd result. As has been stated by us, the construction of
45
Section 26A on a literal reading thereof does not lead to any
such result. Dr. Singhvi’s argument to read in words to save
Section 26A must, therefore, be rejected.
28. We may also mention that the Madras High Court in its
judgment in Macleods Pharmaceuticals Limited v. Union of
India & Ors., Writ Petition Nos.21933 and 25442 of 2011,
specifically held as under:
“38. Thus, the Act gives in every Chapter, an
indication of the functions to be exercised by the
DTAB. In other words, the territory within which the
DTAB is to operate and exercise its functions, is
clearly demarcated in various provisions of the Act
such as 5(1), 6(2), 7(1), 8(2), second proviso to
Section 10, 12(1) and 33(1). But Section 26-A is
completely silent about any consultation with DTAB.
It is so even with Section 26-B.
39. While the advisory role of DTAB is indicated in
broad and general terms in Section 5(1), it is
indicated in specific terms in Sections 6(2), 7(1),
8(2), second proviso to Section 10, 12(1) and 33(1).
Therefore, the absence of any reference to such
requirement of consultation in Section 26-A
assumes great significance. It is a well settled
principle of interpretation of statutes that the Courts
are not expected to supply the omission. The
Parliament had consciously incorporated the
expressions “after consultation with the Board” or
“on the recommendation of the Board”, in certain
provisions of the Act such as Sections 5(1), 6(2),
7(1), 8(2), second proviso to Section 10, 12(1) and
33(1). But it has deliberately omitted to include any
46
of those expressions while inserting Sections 26-A
and 26-B. It is a case of casus omisus. Therefore,
the argument that the Central Government ought to
have taken the consultation of the DTAB before
issuing the ban order, can hold good only if I can
supply into Section 26-A, what was deliberately left
out by the Parliament. This cannot be done by me
and hence the first contention has to be rejected.”
29. To similar effect is the judgment of a single Judge of the
Karnataka High Court in Lundbeck India Pvt. Ltd. v Union of
India, (2014) 5 Kant LJ 440.
30. We approve of these two judgments as having laid down
the correct law on the construction of Section 26A of the Drugs
Act.
31. Though arguments have been made as to whether
Section 26A is legislative in nature and therefore excludes
natural justice, we do not propose to go into the same
inasmuch as since the learned single Judge’s judgment is being
set aside on one point and one point alone. In this view of the
matter, we are of the opinion that the impugned judgment dated
1.12.2016 deserves to be set aside.
47
32. On the facts of these cases, a suggested course of action
was stated by learned counsel appearing on behalf of the
petitioners/appellants. This course is that instead of now
remitting the matter back to the Delhi High Court for an
adjudication on the other points raised in the writ petitions, the
case of 344 FDCs that have been banned, plus another 5 FDCs
that have been banned, which comes to 349 FDCs, (barring 15
FDCs that are pre 1988 and 17 FDCs which have DCG(I)
approval) pursuant to the Kokate Committee report, by
notifications of the Central Government under Section 26A of
the Drugs Act, should be sent to the DTAB, constituted under
Section 5 of the Drugs Act, so that it can examine each of these
cases and ultimately send a report to the Central Government.
We reiterate that only on the peculiar facts of these cases, we
think that such a course commends itself to us, which would
obviate further litigation and finally set at rest all other
contentions raised by the petitioners. We say so because we
find that the Kokate Committee did deliberate on the 344 FDCs
plus 5 FDCs and did come to a conclusion that the aforesaid
FDCs be banned, but we are not clear as to what exactly the
48
reasons for such conclusions are, and whether it was
necessary in the public interest to take the extreme step of
prohibiting such FDCs, instead of restricting or regulating their
manufacture and supply. In order that an analysis be made in
greater depth, we, therefore, feel that these cases should go to
the DTAB and/or a Sub-Committee formed by the DTAB for the
purpose of having a relook into these cases. It is important,
however, that the DTAB/Sub-Committee appointed for this
purpose will not only hear the petitioners/appellants before us,
but that they also hear submissions from the All India Drugs
Action Network. The DTAB/Sub-Committee set up for this
purpose will deliberate on the parameters set out in Section
26A of the Drugs Act, as follows.
33. First and foremost in each case, the
DTAB/Sub-Committee appointed by it must satisfy itself that the
use of the Fixed Dose Combinations (FDC) in question is likely
to involve any one of the aforesaid three things:
(a) that they are likely to involve any risk to human beings or
animals; or
49
(b) that the said FDCs do not have the therapeutic value
claimed or purported to be claimed for them; or
(c) that such FDCs contain ingredients and in such quantity for
which there is no therapeutic justification.
34. The DTAB/Sub-Committee must also apply its mind as to
whether it is then necessary or expedient, in the larger public
interest, to regulate, restrict or prohibit the manufacture, sale or
distribution of such FDCs. In short, the DTAB/Sub-Committee
must clearly indicate in its report:
(1) as to why, according to it, any one of the three factors
indicated above is attracted;
(2) post such satisfaction, that in the larger public interest, it is
necessary or expedient to (i) regulate, (ii) restrict, or (iii) prohibit
the manufacture, sale or distribution of such FDCs.
35. The DTAB/Sub-Committee must also indicate in its report
as to why, in case it prohibits a particular FDC, restriction or
regulation is not sufficient to control the manufacture and use of
the FDC. We request the DTAB/Sub-Committee to be set up
for this purpose to afford the necessary hearing to all
50
concerned, and thereafter submit a consolidated report, insofar
as these FDCs are concerned, to the Central Government
within a period of six months from the date on which this
judgment is received by the DTAB. We may also indicate that
the Central Government, thereafter, must have due regard to
the report of the DTAB and to any other relevant information,
and ultimately apply its mind to the parameters contained in
Section 26A of the Drugs Act and, accordingly, either maintain
the notifications already issued, or modify/substitute them or
withdraw them.
36. With these directions given on the peculiar facts and
circumstances of these cases, the appeals are disposed of.
37. Insofar as the drugs that have been banned and which
were manufactured pre 21st September, 1988, a list of 15 such
drugs has been given to us by Mr. Kapil Sibal, learned senior
counsel for the respondents. We set aside the Central
Government notifications banning them as these cases were
never meant to be referred to the Kokate Committee. It will be
open, however, for the Central Government, if it so chooses, de
51
novo, to carry out an inquiry as to whether such drugs should
be the subject matter of a notification under Section 26A of the
Drugs Act.
38. Insofar as the list of 17 cases handed over by Shri Sibal,
in which DCG(I) approvals have allegedly been granted, we are
of the view that since the Parliamentary Standing Committee
itself refers to DCG(I) approvals and the manner in which they
were granted, we do not accede to Mr. Sibal's request that
these 17 cases be kept outside the purview of the fresh look
that has to be given by the DTAB/Sub-Committee in these
cases.
39. Insofar as the status quo, obtaining as on today, is
concerned, that will continue in all cases (including the 5 FDCs
which are not the subject matter of stay orders already made)
until the Central Government issues fresh notifications in this
behalf.
MADRAS CASES (TRANSFERRED CASES)
T.C.(C)Nos. 308-317_of 2017 @ T.P.(C)Nos.2108-2117 of 2017
52
40. Mr. Gopal Subramanium, learned senior counsel
appearing on behalf of the original petitioners in these cases,
stated that these cases have been transferred to this Court
from the Madras High Court. A Section 33 ban, which was
imposed on 294 FDCs in these cases, has been stayed by the
Madras High Court, and the very exercise that we have
proposed in the Delhi cases has apparently been carried out in
this group of cases. A report of the expert committee of the
DTAB to review the rationality and safety of 294 FDCs is taken
on record. The report indicates that 42 FDCs reportedly were
repeated or duplicate; 44 were already prohibited for
manufacture in the country; 83 were considered rational; 56
were considered not rational; 49 required further generation of
data; 17 were considered inadequate so far as rationality, safety
and efficacy is concerned; and 3 other cases were sent for
further examination by an expert committee constituted by the
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The DTAB after review
of the report and deliberations recommended that the FDC
Ofloxacin and Prednisolone at serial number 75 under the
category of GI in Annexure C does not appear to be rational
53
and should be re-examined. The list of the drugs mentioned in
Annexure D are required to be prohibited/withdrawn from the
market as these are not rational. Considering that an expert
body has already deliberated upon and decided these cases,
we accept the report, and accordingly dispose of these petitions
in accordance therewith.
……………………….J.
(R.F. Nariman)
……………………….J.
(Sanjay Kishan Kaul)
New Delhi;
December 15, 2017.
54