The Navi Mumbai police on Friday filed a first information report against e-commerce major Snapdeal.com CEO Kunal Bahl and five other firms for allegedly selling drugs, including prescription drugs, online.
Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a complaint regarding sale of these drugs online and had ordered a complaint to be registered.
“Regardless of whether the substance is scheduled or not, no drugs are to be sold online. Snapdeal has violated the law,” said FDA commissioner Harshadeep Kamble.
The FDA last month raided two Snapdeal godowns in Goregaon and Bhiwandi after they found that the site listed more than 45 drugs that violate provisions of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, which prohibits certain drugs for treatment of certain diseases and disorders, including sexual performance enhancing drugs. “We sent a notice to Snapdeal and in spite of their written commitment to delist the drugs from their website, we found they continued to exhibit for sale drugs such as I-pill and Unwanted 72, which are emergency contraceptive drugs,” Kamble said.
Bajirao Bhosle, senior inspector with the Panvel police, said the five other firms accused in the case are Jasper Infotech, Mital Pharmacy, Rishabh Enterprises, Giriraj Pharmacist and another medical company, all dealers or couriers. According to Bhosle, the accused have been charged under various sections of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, for sale of drugs without a valid licence, non-disclosure of manufacturer’s name, among others and under Section 7 of the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.
“We have not recorded Mr Bahl’s statement, we are still probing the matter. There may be more accused named in the FIR in coming days,” Bhosle added. FDA authorities said they received information from a Panvel resident on April 15 about various medicines being sold on Snapdeal.com. The Panvel resident purchased Vigora tablets and Ascoril syrup, and reported to the FDA.
Snapdeal said it acts as an intermediary between the seller and buyer. “Upon being notified of any such products, we delist the products and take appropriate action against such sellers. We are assisting the FDA team and we will continue to do so. We have already delisted the products and said sellers and also stopped payment, in addition to providing all information to the FDA team as required by them.”
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