Tripura High Court: State Govt Has No Absolute Power To Revoke Nomination Of A Nominated State member To PCI [Pharmacy Act 1948]

The Tripura high Court in the case Sri Nilimanka Das v. The State of Tripura and 6 Ors observed and has held that the state government does not have absolute authority to cancel the nomination of a nominated State member to Pharmacy Council of India under the Pharmacy Act, 1948. In the present case, the petitioner was being nominated as the State Member of Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) under Section 3(h) of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 (the Act) on November, 29, 2018 by the State Health Secretary (Respondent No. 2).

The court observed that vide a subsequent order Prof. (Dr.) Suvakanta Dash (respondent no. 6) was officially being nominated as member in the PCI, replacing the petitioner who was serving his second tenure. It has been submitted by the petitioner aggrieved that a representation to the respondents challenging the impugned order but, he was compelled to approach the High Court as no response was forthcoming. It has also been submitted by the counsel, Additional GA, Mr. M. Debbarma that there being no such provision under Section 7 of the Pharmacy Act, 1948 wherein it restricted the State government from cancelling the appointment of the nominated member of PCI before expiry of tenure of five years.

The counsel, Mr. A. Bhaumik appearing for the respondent no. 6 stated that there are some allegations against the petitioner, and therefore, the State government had cancelled the nomination of the petitioner. The bench headed by Justice Arindam Lodh while allowing the plea observed and has stated that the State-respondents in their counter affidavit nowhere have alleged that the petitioner had misused or abused his position as State Member at PCI. The court in its order held that it cannot be stated that the State government has the absolute authority to cancel the nomination once one member is nominated as State Member to PCI due to the contingencies ingrained under Section 7 of the said Act, 1948.

Thus, it has been held that the power of cancellation of nominated member to PCI is to be exercised keeping in mind the limitations and the contingencies being encrypted under sub-section (2), (3) and (4) of Section 7 of the said Act, 1948. Further, the allegations have been raised a nominated member prompting the State government to cancel/withdraw his nomination, in such cases such nominated member has the right to get the opportunity of being heard, which is totally being absent in the instant case. The impugned order has been said by the court and quashed the appointment of respondent no. 6 as nominated State member to PCI. Accordingly, the court restored the appointment of the petitioner.

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