Image courtesy of Cournterpoint.
Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) today filed a fundamental rights petition (SC/FR 65/2023) in the Supreme Court naming 47 Respondents, in relation to the steps taken by the Cabinet of Ministers, the Minister of Health, the Ministry of Health, and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to procure medical supplies from two Indian private companies.
This case is filed in the public interest, and challenges the following:
– The role of the cabinet of ministers in procuring medical supplies through unregistered private suppliers
– The role of the NMRA in providing a Waiver of Registration to procure medical supplies from unregistered suppliers
– Non-compliance with procurement guidelines including the emergency procurement process
– Abuse of process by the Minister of Health and the Chief Executive Officer of the NMRA.
In its petition, TISL alleges that the citizens’ fundamental right to equality (Article 12(1)) and the right of access to information (Article 14A) have been violated, along with serious disregard for the health, safety and wellbeing of the people and in total abuse of public trust and public funds. TISL seeks further information on these transactions.
The petition seeks interim orders against –
– the procurement based on this unsolicited proposal and the placing of any orders
– approvals for Waiver of Registration of 38 drugs
– importation of said drugs into Sri Lanka and
– making payment for such drugs.
The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, the Director-General of Customs, the Inspector-General of Police, Savorite Pharmaceuticals (Pvt) Limited, Kausikh Therapeutics (P) Limited and the Attorney-General are also named as Respondents in this petition.