Published on: September 5, 2022 at 18:02 IST
The Supreme Court gave notice to Centre and others in a case contesting the process of disinvestment of HLL Life Care Ltd. In March 2020, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare selected Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL), a central public sector firm founded in 1996, to serve as a nodal agency for the procurement and provision of vaccinations, PPE kits, and other emergency medical supplies.
Additionally, it is the first business in India’s public sector enterprise to receive ICMR Certification for producing and supplying a fast antibody kit for the detection of the COVID-19 virus.
The petition from the NGO Sabka Sahyog Society was brought before a Bench that included Justices V. Ramasubramanian and Abdul Nazeer.
According to the petition, the union government’s decision to withdraw its investments and permit the privatization of HLL is illegal, unconstitutional, and contrary to the original intent for which it was established. Disinvestment would have a negative effect on people’s right to health who depend on HLL for access to cheap medications.
According to the petition, HLL made a significant contribution to the vaccination push and the nation cannot afford to privatize it, especially because the immunization drive is still in progress and the nation, like the rest of the globe, is still battling the virus.
Aside from its assistance during the pandemic, it has consistently taken the initiative to offer emergency medical aid during natural disasters like the tsunami that hit the Andaman Nicobar Islands and the string of devastating floods that struck J&K, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
HLL has also played a crucial role in the implementation of programmes for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and support, as well as child and reproductive health.
The petition was submitted by advocate-on-record Dr. Charu Mathur on behalf of the petitioners, who were represented by senior advocate Mr. Gopal Shankar Narayan and counsel Ms. Tanvi Dubey.