Maharashtra FDA gets into action, files FIR against Snapdeal CEO

Priyanka Pani Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2018


Online retailer had sold drugs online without licences

Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Snapdeal’s CEO Kunal Bahl and its directors for selling prescription drugs online.

The FIR was lodged at Panvel police station near Mumbai city after raids revealed that the online retailer had sold several drugs without valid prescriptions or licences.

FDA Commissioner Harshadeep Kamble told media persons that other online companies such as Amazon and Flipkart are also being investigated and their records are being examined.

Selling prescription drugs online without requisite licences is a major offence under Section 18 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. If found guilty, a person can face jail term of up to five years. Kamble said the FIR was being filed against Bahl because “a CEO is fully in command of the company and must take responsibility for whatever good or bad happens in it.”

He said Snapdeal has also been charged with violating the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act for displaying and offering to sell 45 drugs with dubious claims.

Chain of events

The case started building up against Snapdeal, when a Panvel resident placed an order on January 30 for Vigora tablets and Ascoril cough syrup, which are both prescription drugs. He received the drugs by a courier and then he filed a complaint with the FDA. Snapdeal’s premises in suburban Mumbai was raided on April 16 where prescription drugs were found.

Kamble said the company was asked to delist the drugs from the website but they continued to sell them. “Through an FDA employee, prescription drugs I-pill and Unwanted 72 were ordered online. These drugs would be used as evidence against the company,” he said. The Maharashtra FDA has also written to the Drugs Controller General of India, asking it to alert other State drug controllers about such illegal online sales.

A Snapdeal spokesperson said, “We are assisting the FDA team in this investigation and we will continue to do so.

“We have already delisted the products and also stopped payment, in addition to providing all information to the FDA team as required by them.”

Published on May 01, 2015

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