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Supreme Court rejects Pharmacy Council of India plea against new pharmacy colleges, upholds verdicts of 3 High Courts

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The Supreme Court on Thursday quashed the petitions filed by the Pharmacy Council of India, challenging the verdicts of three High Courts, which had refused to impose a moratorium on starting of new Pharmacy colleges for the next five years.    

The Bench of Justice B.R. Gavai and Justice P.S. Narasimha dismissed the appeals, after making oral observation that the ban cannot be imposed through executive instructions. However, it said the abundance of pharmacy colleges could be considered.

The Apex Court told the PCI that it was having sufficient powers to regulate the Pharmacy colleges and also to refuse application for starting of a new institute, if deemed unfit. 

PCI had challenged the verdicts passed by the High Courts of Delhi, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh over the communications sent by the Council to different state governments and administrations of Union Territories on July 17, 2019 and September 9, 2019, respectively, imposing a moratorium on opening of new pharmacy colleges for a period of five years with effect from the academic year 2020-21. 

The High Courts had observed that by imposing the moratorium, the Council had excessively used the powers conferred on it by the Pharmacy Act, 1948. 

Case title: Pharmacy Council of India vs Rajeev College of Pharmacy and Others

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