The All India Drug Control Officers' Confederation (AIDCOC), the congregation of drug control officers from various states in the country, has urged the government to take adequate steps for successful implementation of stringent rules in the Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Bill 2006 which received president's assent recently.
The confederation will soon make a representation to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) with its suggestions to take measures to ensure faster disposal of cases when shifting cases from Judicial First Class Magistrates' Court to the Sessions Court and to increase the staff strength of state regulatory bodies. The suggestions were made in a panel discussion conducted recently in Kolkata.
The new bill, which has been signed by the president in December, specifies that all the cases related to spurious drugs should be filed with the Sessions Court as against the current practice of filing cases in Judicial First Class Magistrates' Court. The officials apprehend that the process may take more time for dispersal of cases as the number of Sessions Courts are very less when considered to the latter.
"There are around 25 to 35 Judicial First Class Magistrates' Courts in a district whereas the number of Sessions Courts is six to seven. Currently the cases are delayed for even 10 to 12 years in Judicial Magistrates' Courts. The government has to take note of the practical issues in the amendment bill though we welcome the efforts the new regulations as they are more stringent to control the spurious drugs in the market," said Ravi Udayabhaskar, General Secretary, AIDCOC.
Making the regulations stringent to arrest the culprit under non-bailable rules will, however, support the officials to finish the legal procedures faster. However, the government should also provide more human resource and train the officials to handle the cases more efficiently. As the law becomes stringent, there is need for in-depth and faster investigation to bring the illegitimate manufacturer or trader behind the bars, he added.
The confederation will also point out to the government, that with the punishment being increased to Rs 10 lakh in cash and 10 years imprisonment for the culprit, the security of the drug control officer will also be at the stake. The department will have to face the fury of the antisocial elements who indulge in manufacturing and supply of spurious drugs and the government has to ensure protection to the officials, demands AIDCOC.
The AIDCOC has also shared the concerns of innocent manufacturers and traders getting punished under the new regulations. The confederation has decided to send a copy of resolution as a suggestion to the DCGI soon.