SC dismisses SLP by health ministry for extending term of Surinder Singh as DCGI (21/10/11)
New Delhi, 21 Oct: Another attempt by the Union Health Ministry to ensure the extension of
Dr Surinder Singh as the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) failed with the Supreme Court
dismissing the special leave petition by the Ministry.
A three-member bench comprising Justice D K Jain, Justice S J Mukhopadhyay and Justice A R Dave
on Thursday rejected the SLP filed by the Ministry seeking to set aside the Chennai High Court order
that instructed the DCGI to demit the office by October 31.
"The SLP has come almost two months after the High Court judgement. Moreover, it is a very
important post and the Ministry must have a person who can be permanently posted there," the
Court said, while taking strong exception to the ad hoc arrangements.
This was the second time that the Ministry went to the Supreme Court on the issue. After the
nine-month extension to the DCGI by the Ministry was stayed by the Chennai HC, the Ministry went
to the Apex Court to vacate the stay in July. The Court did not admit the SLP as the matter was in the
Chennai HC for the final order.
Later in August, the Chennai HC rejected the government order extending the term of Singh and asked
the Government to take steps to find a replacement. It also asked Singh to demit the office by October 31.
Ramalingasamy, a former regulatory officer of the Tamil Nadu Drugs Control Department, had filed the
public interest litigation against the extension of the DCGI. On June 8, 2011 the Government of India had
extended the appointment of Dr Surinder Singh as DCGI until 31. 3. 2012. The DCGIís deputation tenure was to expire on June 21, this year.