LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) recently issued a stay on a petition by the Getz Pharmaceutical Company, challenging the change of conditions for the tender after shortlisting process. The order passed by Justice Ayesha A. Malik restrained the Punjab government from proceeding further on a purchase order for supply of insulin to public hospitals and sought replies from the respondents.
Advocate Raheel Kamran Sheikh, the counsel for the company, argued that the respondent authorities had imposed the condition of providing bio-similarity studies in the technical specification of the tender for drugs/medicines and medical devices. He alleged that the requirement of bio-similarity studies had not been provided for in the rules and it was a condition catered specifically to enable a respondent pharma company, namely Novo Nordisk Pharma, to participate and succeed in the bidding process.
The counsel argued that the condition was tailor made to exclude the petitioner/company as the respondent/company was the sole agent for a foreign supplier that might have the capacity to provide bio-similarity studies for the product. He said the impugned condition eliminated the opportunity of fair competition.
The counsel pointed out that the petitioner agitated the matter before the government, which failed to decide the same in accordance with law.
Additional Advocate General Akhtar Javed, on behalf of the government, questioned the maintainability of the petition before the court. He said the petitioner had participated in the tendering process and resorted to litigation after the purchase order was issued to the respondent company.
The written order issued about hearing on the petition said, “The respondents are restrained from proceeding further in the matter that is proceedings on the basis of the purchase order until next date of hearing.”
The judge also directed the respondents to submit their reports and para-wise comments. The respondents also include the secretary health, director general health services and the Punjab Procurement Regulatory Authority.