The Delhi High Court on Friday put on hold health ministry’s decision banning Oxytocin production by private companies for domestic use for one more month. A bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice A K Chawla passed the interim order, as it continues to hear three petitions to stop the government’s move.
The Centre had issued a notification to implement the ban from September 1. However, the Centre clarified that private companies would be free to manufacture Oxytocin in India for export purposes. On August 29, the two judge bench had postponed the date of ban to October 1. On Friday, the ban was further postponed to November 1.
“There is an issue of proportionality of the measure. You may have some material (evidence), but is it proportionate to the decision you have taken,” Justice Bhat said adding that all aspects of this decision — about what happens when such disruption occurs due to policy decision or what happens if the status quo is maintained — has to be taken into account.
Justice Bhat said: “You are creating a monopoly. On one end there is monopoly, on the other hand we have companies that have license and the licensed activities are going on for the purposes of exports … These companies’ licenses have not been taken so we have to see what is the level of satisfaction for you on which basis you have taken this decision.”
If the ban comes into effect, only state-run entity Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL) would be manufacturing and selling Oxytocin in India. The three petitioners in this case are Mylan Laboratories, Neon Laboratories and All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN). Pfizer and Mylan are two leading producers of Oxytocin in India.