By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 21: The Registrar of Assam Pharmacy Council has withdrawn the appointments of six pharmacy inspectors, following allegations that the recruitment was not done following due procedure.
The illegal recruitment was brought to light by the All Assam Pharmacy Graduates Association which moved the Health Director with a complaint against the Registrar PK Sarma.
In their complaint, the association stated that the Assam Pharmacy Council appointed the inspectors for which no vacancy advertisement was released. They alleged that the council, a statutory body constituted by the State government, violated the standard procedure of recruitment for which “the whole process of appointment is deemed to be declared as illegal”.
Taking note of the complaint, the Health Director issued a show-cause notice to the council’s registrar on March 31. The Health Director wanted to know whether the registrar took prior approval from the Health department before making the appointments.
In his reply, registrar Sarma stated that the appointments were made following a resolution of the council. On realizing that a resolution of the council was not sufficient for appointment of an inspector, the registrar withdrew the appointments of the six inspectors on May 5.
PK Sarma’s appointment as the registrar of the council last year was also mired in controversy. Sarma was the general secretary of the All Assam Pharmacy Service Association (AAPSA) from 1990 to 2012.
The AAPSA had given a petition to the Chief Secretary alleging that Sarma had embezzled lakhs of rupees during his tenure as the general secretary of AAPSA. The AAPSA was against his appointment as the registrar of the council.
The development comes amidst the row over mushrooming of fake pharmacists in the State. There have been reports that more than 60-70 per cent of the pharmacies in the State are run by people who are not qualified pharmacists.
Following the detection of the illegal appointments, there is concern now as to whether the pharmacy regulator has done a “genuine” job so far in checking the mece of fake pharmacists.