Patna | The Patna high court on Thursday quashed the Bihar government’s notification banning use of alcohol for manufacturing ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines in view of prohibition in force in the state.
The state government through a notification dated March 17, 2016 denied issuing further licences to manufacture ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines having alcohol content in view of the state government’s decision to enforce prohibition from April 1, 2016.
The order was passed by a bench of Chief Justice Iqbal Ahmad Ansari and Justice Samarendra Pratap Singh after hearing two petitions challenging the state government’s notification.
Allowing petitions filed by Samrat Chemical Industries and Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhawan Pvt Ltd, the bench observed that the state government does not have power to issue such orders denying issuance of licence to the companies for preparation of alternative medicines.
Defending prohibition decision, the state government counsel submitted that it could be misused for the purpose of manufacturing alcohol in the state if it allowed the companies to use spirit for medicinal purpose.
However, the petitioners’ counsel Satyabir Bharti along with advocate Alok Chandra contended that the likelihood of misuse could not be the ground to prohibit any firm from carrying out its activities.
The state government does not have power to issue such an order denying licence for manufacturing medicine, rather it is the central government which has the power to do so. And even while doing so, the Centre will have to explain the reasons that it will have harmful effects on the people, Bharti submitted.
The state government has taken away the fundamental right to carry out trade and business by depriving the licence, Bharti further argued.