Judgement of the Supreme Court of India regarding approval of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine, 05/04/2017

  • 05/04/2017

Judgement of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of Kalpana Mehta & Others Vs Union of India & Others dated 05/04/2017 regarding approval of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine manufactured by M/s. GlaxoSmithKline Asia Pvt. Ltd. and MSD Pharmaceuticals Private Limited for preventing cervical cancer in women and the experimentation of the vaccine by the Governments of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. The case also deals with the untimely death of certain persons and grant of compensation. 

TIMELINE

  • A report was submitted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee dated 22nd December, 2014. In essence, the stand of the Union of India and the States was that the vaccine was necessary and steps have been taken to avoid any kind of hazards. 
  • Question arises whether reports of the Parliamentary Standing Committee can be referred to by the Apex Court for issuing directions. Supreme Court notes that "the invitation to contest a Parliamentary Standing Committee report is likely to disturb the delicate balance that the Constitution provides between the constitutional institutions. If the Court allows contest and adjudicates on the report, it may run counter to the spirit of privilege of Parliament which the Constitution protects".
  • Supreme Court  in the Judgement  dated 05/04/2017 refers the issue to the Constitution Bench under Article 145(3) of the Constitution as it involves "substantial question of law relating to interpretation of the Constitution involved".

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