Supreme Court dismisses plea challenging disinvestment process of HLL Lifecare
Terms the matter is a ‘policy issue’
The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea challenging the disinvestment process of Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL) Lifecare, a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala declined to entertain NGO Sabka Sahyog Society’s petition under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, as it was related to a “policy issue.”
(Article 32 provides individuals the right to move the Supreme Court to seek justice when they feel they have been unduly deprived of their rights).
HLL Lifecare manufactures and markets a range of contraceptives, women’s healthcare products, hospital supplies and other pharmaceutical products.
The petitioner said that HLL played a noteworthy role during the pandemic and the health ministry had nominated it as the nodal agency for the procurement and supply of emergency medical items, including PPE kits and vaccines, to fight Covid 19 pandemic.
Referring to HLL Lifecare’s role in providing emergency relief, the plea said the country could not afford to privatize an entity at a crucial juncture when the vaccination drive was still on.
In March 2022, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) had invited preliminary bids for selling the government’s 100 percent stake in the health sector CPSE. It received multiple bids for the firm.