The petitioner had contended that a terminally ill person whose life was ebbing out should be allowed to die and not to with artificial medical support
The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred the issue of legalising euthanasia in India to a five-judge Constitution bench, saying there has been 'inconsistent' opinion in its previous verdicts on withdrawing medical support to terminally ill patients.
A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said that it is extremely important to have a clear enunciation of law on this issue and referred the matter to a larger Constitution Bench.
The court said that the Constitution Bench will go into all aspects of the issue and take a final decision on framing guidelines.
The Bench also comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and SK Singh passed the order on a public interest litigation (PIL) to allow a terminally ill person not to continue with artificial medical support.
The Centre had vociferously opposed the plea terming it as “suicide” which could not be allowed in the country.
With today’s direction, the apex court’s earlier order, which had rejected the plea for active euthanasia, will also be relooked into by the larger bench.
The PIL filed by Common Cause, an NGO, had contended that when a medical expert opines that the person afflicted with terminal disease has reached a point of no return, then he should be given the right to refuse being put on life support system as otherwise it would only prolong his agony.
The petition was filed in 2008 when the apex court had issued notices to the Union Ministry of Health and Law and sought their response on the issue.
The petitioner’s plea was earlier opposed by Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra who had submitted that euthanasia cannot be permitted in Indian society and it would be against the law and medical ethics.
He had said prayer made in the PIL was not tenable in law and it cannot be allowed through judicial exercise.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, had contended that those “at the end of their natural life span and likely to go into a state of terminal illness or permanent vegetative state, are deprived of their right to refuse cruel and unwanted medical treatment, like feeding through hydration tubes, being kept on ventilator and other life supporting machines in order to artificially prolong their natural life span.”
The petitioner had contended that a person whose life was ebbing out should be allowed to die as the continuance of the life with the support system was an unnatural extension of the natural life span.
Ranbaxy has voluntarily suspended all API shipments from its Toansa and Dewas. This follows suspension of API shipments from its Toansa plant by the US FDA
Pharma company Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd said it is examining the 'processes and controls' at all its active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) manufacturing and quality units, which has led to temporarily putting on hold shipments from its API facilities of Toansa and Dewas plants.
The announcement comes a month after Ranbaxy had said that the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) had notified the company prohibiting it from manufacturing and distributing APIs from its facility in Toansa for FDA-regulated drug products.
In a regulatory filing, Ranbaxy said its decision to examine the processes and controls at all its API manufacturing and quality units was taken as a precautionary measure and out of abundant caution to better allow it to assess and review the processes and controls. The company said it would resume shipments after reassuring them about the processes and controls at these facilities.
A committee of the board has been formed this month as Quality & Integrity Committee to help ensure good governance to all Ranbaxy stakeholders. The principal role of this committee was to offer oversight on its manufacturing and quality operations, systems, organisation and integrity, the pharma company said.
In late January, the company said that the FDA barred Ranbaxy from manufacturing and distributing APIs from its facility in Toansa for FDA-regulated drug products. The Toansa facility was subject to certain terms of a consent decree of permanent injunction entered against Ranbaxy in January 2012.
Supreme Court said, the Sahara group chief has not complied with its order and that is why he was being summoned
The Supreme Court while refusing the plea of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy seeking exemption from personal appearance before it, directed him to appear on Wednesday in connection with the failure of his companies to refund Rs20,000 crore to investors.
Roy’s plea was mentioned before a bench comprising justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar which said he has to appear on Wednesday.
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Roy, submitted that he will make the payment and he may be distanced with personal appearance in the court tomorrow.
However, the bench said Roy has not complied with its order and that is why he was summoned.
The bench had on 20th February come down heavily on the Sahara group for not refunding Rs20,000 crore of investors’ money despite its order and summoned Roy, Ravi Shankar Dubey, Ashok Roy Choudhary and Vandana Bhargava, directors of its units, Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIREC) and Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHIC) to be personally present before it on Wednesday.
It had allowed SEBI to go ahead with the sale of properties of the group whose sale deeds were handed over to the market regulator to recover Rs20,000 crore.
“Those properties you can sell. We allow you to sell them and recover the money. If they are encumbered properties then you can file criminal case against the company. The case must be brought to a logical conclusion,” the bench had said.
It had raised question on the way the group has been defying its order for the last one-and-a-half years.
The bench had said SEBI can put those properties on auction and get the money after the market regulator had said let the company itself sell the properties and deposit the money.
The apex court in its judgement of 31 August 2012 had directed SEBI to attach properties and recover the money.
Sending a clear message that the court is not 'helpless' in taking action for flouting its directions, the apex court had on 21st November last year barred Roy from leaving the country and also restrained the group from selling any of its properties.