Row ensues between SKCDA and Amaresh Tumbagi, Additional Drug Controller, Karnataka
In the wake of the suspension of 110 retail pharmacy stores across Karnataka, the chemist association asks Tumbagi to step down from his post citing lack of qualifications, Tumbagi says his appointment is as per protocol
Following the suspension of 110 retail pharmacy stores across Karnataka, the Suvarna Karnataka Chemists and Distribution Association (SKCDA) has written a letter to the present additional drug controller and the licensing authority of Karnataka asking him to vacate the post immediately. In its letter, the association has cited that he is holding the position without possessing the minimum qualifications under Rules 49-A, 50-A of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945.
Commenting on the written letter, V Harikrishna, President, SKCDA said, “Based on the statutory requirements for the post we request him to step down from his post.”
He further added, “In view of the suspension of licenses in the form of 20, 21 from the officers, the delegated powers to sign on behalf of him becomes null and void since he is not the competent authority as per Section 21 of Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and rules 49-A and 50-A under Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1945 .”
He further elaborated that for holding a post of licensing authority a gazetted inspector needs to serve a minimum five years. Therefore, in this case, he doesn’t qualify for the post.
However, the regulating authority refutes the allegations. Responding to the claims made by SKCDA, Amaresh Tumbagi, Additional Drug Controller and Licensing Authority, Karnataka commented, “The government of Karnataka promoted me as an additional drug controller and appointed me as a state licensing authority with all due diligence required for the appointment procedures.”
He informed, “Earlier, three of my colleagues from the same department have challenged my appointment in the Karnataka State Administrative tribunal and the matter is already settled as the competent authority dismissed the plea.”
Tumbagi said, “Last month, the department suspended nearly 110 retail pharmacy licenses for noncompliance of requisite requirements like uploading the purchase data of COVID-19 symptoms related drugs along with other provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act. Thereafter, the association representatives reached out to me to resolve the matter, however, I guided them to take the required legal path for further clarification.”