Taking note of its benefits, a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and AK Chawla quashed the government’s April 27 notification imposing the ban, saying it was “arbitrary and unreasonable”.
The HC faulted the government for failing to “adequately weigh in” the harm that would be caused to “the public generally and women particularly” by a possible ban on manufacture and sale of the drug. The court said if it was confined to one manufacturer, pregnant women and young mothers would lose the benefit of “a potentially life-saving drug”.
The bench pointed out that the trigger for the government’s ban was the need to prohibit the use of Oxytocin in cattle but it failed to see the risk of such a ban. “Scarcity of the drug, or even a restricted availability, can cause increase in maternal fatalities during childbirth,” the court said.