Delhi High Court Current Affairs

Justice Gita Mittal appointed as acting Chief justice of Delhi High Court

Justice Gita Mittal, the senior-most judge of Delhi High Court, has been appointed as the acting Chief justice of Delhi High Court with effect from April 14. Her appointment comes at the backdrop of the retirement of current Chief justice Gorla Rohini.

President of India has appointed Justice Mittal as the Chief Justice by exercising his powers conferred by article 223 of the Constitution of India. 

Article 223 of the Indian Constitution provides for the appointment of acting Chief Justice by the President of India whenever the office of the Chief Justice of a High Court falls vacant due to any reason such as absence or otherwise.

About Justice Gita Mittal

In 2004, Justice Mittal was appointed as Additional Judge of Delhi High Court and was made permanent in 2006. Justice Mittal is one of the members of the Governing Council of the National Law University and Indian Law Institute. She has also been nominated to the Administrative Committee of the Indian Law Institute.

Justice Mittal is currently chairing the Delhi High Court committees on Mediation and Conciliation Centre and also over the committee monitoring the implementation of Judicial Guidelines for Dealing with cases of Sexual Offences and Child Witnesses. Justice Mittal spearheaded the inauguration of Vulnerable Witness Court Project in trial courts in Delhi. First such court room in the country was inaugurated in September 2012 and the second on September 2013.

Her important judicial pronouncements include pronouncements on compensation for riot victims, right to shelter of internally displaced persons, right to marriage of a female member of the Armed Force, principles governing DNA testing in paternity issues in the absence of statutory provisions, right to workers in labour force etc.

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Delhi High Court reverses ban on fixed dose combination drugs

The Delhi High Court has quashed ban imposed on 344 fixed dose combination (FDC) drugs by the Central Government over fears that they are potential health and safety hazards.

The HC held that Centre had acted in a haphazard manner and did not take the advice of the statutory bodies under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act before issuing ban notification.

What is the issue?

India is one of the world’s largest markets for FDC drugs that make up almost half the market share. The Union Health Ministry had imposed the ban on 344 FDC drugs under Section 26A of Drugs and Cosmetics Act in March 2016 for being unsafe and not having a therapeutic justification. The ban was imposed based on the recommendations of Kokate committee. It was imposed over fears that these drugs cause anti-microbial resistance and might even cause organ-failure because of high toxicity. It also aimed at curbing the misuse of medicines. However, the pharmaceutical companies contend that no prior enquiry was made from them or show cause notice issued prior to ban notification by the Central Government. They also held that these drugs in the same combination are being marketed in other countries.

What Delhi High Court ruling says?

The Central Government acted in a haphazard manner without following procedure prescribed in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. Government did not take the advice of the statutory bodies such as Drugs Technical Advisory Body (DTAB) and the Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) before imposing ban. Power cannot be exercised in public interest for any reason other than the drug being risky or not having any therapeutic value.

What are Fixed dose combinations (FDC) Drugs?

FDC drugs are drugs having two or more active ingredients in a single dosage. They are widely used to improve patient compliance as it is easier for them to take one drug than several. They are acceptable only when the drugs so combined have a therapeutic advantage.

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