The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Centre and others on a plea challenging the disinvestment process of HLL Lifecare Ltd.
HLL Lifecare Ltd is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under theadministrative control of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). A bench of Justices S A Nazeer and V Ramasubramanian issued a notice seeking responses from the Centre and others on the petition filed by ‘Sabka Sahyog Society’ against the government’s decision to approve the privatisation of HLL Lifecare.
HLL Lifecare is involved in manufacturing and marketing a range of contraceptives, women’s healthcare products, hospital supplies as well as other pharmaceutical products.
It is also engaged in providing healthcare and diagnostic services, consultancy, and contract services for healthcare infrastructure projects.
It also provides consultancy services for the procurement of medical equipment and devices in the healthcare sector and caters to both domestic and international markets. Senior advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan and advocate Tanvi Dubey appeared for the petitioner.
The petitioner has said that HLL Lifecare was a nodal agency in the procurement of PPE kits throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and also the agency for the procurement of vaccines. It said the role played by HLL Lifecare during the pandemic is noteworthy and the ministry had nominated it as the nodal agency for the procurement and supply of emergency medical items to fight the pandemic.
The plea, while referring to the role played by HLL Lifecare during emergency relief, said the country cannot afford to privatisation an entity like HLL Lifecare at this crucial juncture when the vaccination drive is still going on against the pandemic.
In March this year, the government said it has received multiple preliminary bids for HLL Lifecare.
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) had invited preliminary bids for selling the government’s 100 per cent stake in the health sector CPSE.
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