The Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken a serious view on the reports that in Punjab, there are several blood banks, the license of which has expired. In some cases, license has been expired more than 20 years ago but the government has not taken any action.
The division bench comprising Justice Satish Kumar Mittal and Justice Shekhar Dhawan has put the state drug controller and Drug Controller General of India on notice. The high court also fixed January 22 as the next date of hearing in the matter. The bench was hearing a petition that sought orders to prohibit government and private blood bank societies in Punjab from charging processing charges beyond the prescribed rates.
The petitioner, Phagwara based Hindustan Welfare Blood Donor’s Club has filed a list of 32 blood banks, the licenses of whose have expired. The bench observed that it was a very serious matter that these banks were functional even after expiry of licenses and no action was being taken against them. As about rates, the blood banks were authorized to charge from Rs. 1050 to Rs. 1450 for each unit of blood but they were charging Rs. 2700 to Rs. 4000. As about platelets, the prescribed rates were Rs. 11000 but banks were charging as high as Rs. 17000 to Rs. 20000, the report of the Hindustan Welfare Blood Donor’s Club stated.
Taking a note on charging high rates, bench has asked to specify the details about rate the blood banks were charging processing fee. The details are to be provided by the Director State Blood Transfusion Council, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab Civil Secretariat, as “he is the controlling authority of all the blood banks and societies or institutions operating in the State of Punjab”.