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Supreme Court dismisses suits against drug regulators, whistleblower says

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MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Supreme Court has refused to hear two lawsuits filed by one of the country’s best-known whistleblowers which accused drugs and health regulators of failing to enforce safety standards, the whistleblower and his lawyer said on Friday.

Dinesh Thakur, who exposed dangerous practices in India’s drugs industry in 2013, filed the public interest litigations in January, one of which alleges current drugs laws are “unconstitutional”.

The suits sought a series of reforms, including harsher prosecution for manufacturers found to be selling substandard medicines or obtaining marketing approvals illegally.

Thakur, on his official Twitter account, said the Supreme Court refused to hear the cases on Friday and that he was “disappointed”. He declined to comment on reasons for the refusal when contacted by Reuters, saying he had not yet received a court order.

Representatives at the Supreme Court, and the offices of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation and health ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Thakur’s lawyer and senior advocate at the Supreme Court, Raju Ramachandran, confirmed the court had refused to hear the cases. He declined to make any further comment.

"Unfortunately, the Supreme Court declined to admit either of the petitions but has given us liberty to approach any other appropriate forum for remedy," Thakur wrote on his blog. (

He declined to comment on possible options when contacted by Reuters.

Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in MUMBAI and Suchitra Mohanty in NEW DELHI; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Christopher Cushing