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PUCL,September 2003

Kerala PUCL
Petition to ban a fraudulant HIV/AIDS drug

To
Honourable Justice Mr. Jawaharlal Gupta
Chief Justice
High Court of Kerala
Ernakulam

Sir,
Indian Network for people living with HIV/AIDS, a national network of people living with HIV and the State Level Networks of people living with HIV, Manipur, Nagaland, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and the Positive Women Network wish to bring your notice the following shocking facts.

Sri. T.A. Majeed, proprietor of Fair Pharma, who is not a doctor qualified or trained under any system of Medicine whatsoever set up false claims of having invented / discovered a guaranteed cure for HIV/AIDS. He organized a wide publicity network for his false claims of curing HIV/AIDS within 100 days course of the medicine that he calls Immuno-QR. A single course of the medicine is sold for Rs. 8,400/-.

The members of our organization, who are persons afflicted with HIV/AIDS, taken in by the wide publicity and the tall claims made by Mr. T.A. Majeed, took the medicine Immuno-QR on the assurance that it will cure them of the disease HIV/AIDS. They found that the medicine Immuno-QR did not work. A number of persons who were held out as the persons who had been cured after taking Immuno-QR have since died.

The Maharashtra network for positive people, a constituent of the INP+ in the state of Maharashtra filed a writ petition seeking to prevent Mr. T.A. Majeed from publicising in any manner whatever his medicine Immuno-QR as a cure for HIV/AIDS. The Honourable High Court of Bombay issued an interim order prohibiting Mr. T.A. Majeed from claim a cure for HIV/AIDS through advertising in all types of media.

In spite of the order of the High Court of Bombay, Mr. Majeed continued to publicize the medicine Immuno-QR as a guaranteed cure for HIV/AIDS.

It has also come to our notice that in order to create a substantial market for his medicine Mr. Majeed has developed tie-ups on commission basis with unscrupulous laboratories and doctors who falsely diagnose persons who come with some minor ailments as suffering from HIV/AIDS and direct them to take Immuno-QR. After one or two courses of the medicine i.e. after making the victims spend about Rs. 20,000.00/- as the medicine, the same laboratories give them a certificate of having been cured of HIV/AIDS.

The disabilities of people living with HIV/AIDS to combat the menace of the quackery helped Mr. Majeed spread his tentacles into every area including the authorities of the government and administration of the Justice.

Over the years, since the governmental and statutory authorities closed their eyes to the activities of the Majeed mafia, Mr. Majeed became the highest taxpayer of the Kerala with his ill-gotten gains.

The collusion of laboratories giving false certificates also led to a situation where the disease itself started spreading. The alarming situation created by the illegal activities of Mr. Majeed was brought to the notice of many umbrella organizations by us. One of such organizations the PUCL, Kerala filed public interest litigation before the High Court of Kerala O.P. No. 37990 of 2001 seeking direction from the Court for a C.B.I. inquiry into the whole affair and to prevent Mr. Majeed from manufacturing and selling drugs/medicine, as cure for many incurable diseases including HIV/AIDS

The High Court of Kerala took the case on file and on behalf of Majeed it was pointed out that he himself had filed another writ petition O.P. No. 12883 / 98 challenging the cancellation of his license to manufacture Immuno-QR. The High Court there upon called for the said writ petition also and after hearing counsel passed an interim order restraining Mr. Majeed from Manufacturing and selling any medicine claiming it as a cure for any of the diseases specified in the J schedule to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

Mr. Majeed challenged the order before the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court upheld the ban of manufacture of Immuno-QR. This was on 11.3.2002. In the public interest litigation Mr. Majeed had set up a number of persons claiming themselves to be sufferers of various incurable diseases like HIV AIDS, mental retardation, Alzheimer’s disease and other similar diseases who filed affidavits claiming that they had taken the medicine Immuno QR and had been cured of all the diseases or were in the stage of improvement. Enquiries revealed that the various persons set up through different advocates have all been set up by Sri. Majeed himself paying even the fees of the counsel appearing for such fictitious persons who claimed to have cured after taking the medicine Immuno QR. This fact also became clear before the court since none of these persons who claimed the necessity of the medicine Immuno QR appeared before the Government authorities for taking medicine pursuant to specific orders passed by the High Court of Kerala on 09.07.2003.

In fact, on an earlier occasion, the High Court on 30.10.2002 made the interim order as modified by the Supreme Court as absolute and rejected the prayer made by certain alleged sufferers of HIV/AIDS for supply of Immuno-QR.

Once the High Court had made an interim order prohibiting the manufacture of the medicine, absolute, the only thing that remained to be done is to clear the original petitions and pass appropriate orders. Since the earlier interim order had been made absolute, no fresh interim order could have been passed by the High Court. It is of interest to note that after the matter at interlocutory stage was disposed of by the Supreme Court, the case continued in the hearing list on a regular basis and it was not taken up for hearing because Mr. Majeed and his advocates were never ready to go on with the case.

In the Original Petition filed in public interest espousing our cause (the cause of PLWHAs) the Union and State Governments as well as all the Central and State authorities concerned with the Health and Family Welfare, as well as the various national institutes for Research in Virology and the Governmental organizations for AIDS Control were made parties. In view of the use of money power by the manufacturer of the medicine, the Central Bureau of Investigation was also made a party. Out of these governmental and statutory authorities only the ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) filed a counter affidavit in the O.P. The said counter affidavit clearly stated in no uncertain terms that the claims of cure for HIV AIDS made by Sri. Majeed is not correct. None of the other authorities filed a counter affidavit or even appeared before the court, though the Central Government and its organizations have tens of standing counsels in the High Court.

Even while the order of the Supreme Court banning the manufacture of Immuno QR was in force, Sri. Majeed continued to manufacture and sell the medicine (at more than twice the original price). When the violation of the court order was brought to the notice of the Drugs Control authorities the raids were conducted on the premises of Fair Pharma (Mr. Majeed’s business concern) and substantial quantities of medicine Immuno QR being sold under surrogate names to People living with HIV/AIDS and records relating to the said sales were seized by the authorities. The raid was conducted by Drug Intelligence Department on February 6, 2003 and on February 19, 2003. Even after this, the authorities did not bring to the notice of the High Court, the details of the raids and did not produce before the court the records seized during the raids.

The State Government appointed a committee to conduct clinical study on the medicine Immuno QR in 1998. The committee was a non-starter. This points to the economic tentacles of Mr. Majeed which have gone deep into the governmental system whichever party rules the state or the country. Being the highest tax payer in the State, Mr. Majeed has also been successful in greasing the palms of the politicians and administrators. No work was done by the expert committee appointed by the Government though the said committee had been appointed five years ago.

It is in this back drop that the High Court has now without considering any relevant factor passed an order permitting Mr. Majeed to manufacture and sell Immuno QR. On the strength of the said order Mr. Majeed has started advertising that Immuno QR has been permitted to be manufactured and is now available.

The permission of the Court to manufacture and sell Immuno QR without first conducting clinical trials and publishing results, has granted the seal of approval for the claims of Mr. Majeed that Immuno QR is a guaranteed cure for HIV/AIDS with in 100 days.

We bring to your notice that two days before the case was taken up on 25.08.2003, Mr. Majeed had appeared on T.V. and stated publicly that the High Court would permit him to manufacture Immuno QRand this is what in fact happened.

The people living with HIV/AIDS therefore wish to bring to your notice that the present order of court would enable Mr. Majeed to continue to cheat sufferers of the HIV/AIDS by promising cure and also result in spreading the disease.

The inaction from the Government in getting Immuno QR properly tested and clinically assessed during the last decade when Mr. Majeed has been claiming guaranteed cure indicates the extent to which money power has enabled Mr. Majeed to influence the ministers, top officials in the government and the statutory authorities.

As is well known it is when the authorities in the Government and administration fail that the sufferers of injustice approach the courts of law in the fond hope that the wheels of justice will move and bring succor to them. The present order of the court has belied the ardent hope and faith of the persons suffering from incurable diseases like HIV/AIDS in the legal system. We therefore beseech your Good selves to recall the present order permitting Mr. Majeed to manufacture and sell the medicine, Immuno QR.

The claims of Mr. Majeed also affects the prevention programs adversely as it sends in a false sense of hope of cure for millions. This fuels the spread of the epidemic, which also counters the prevention programs done by the Government. So we request you to completely ban the production and sale of Immuno QR and prosecute Mr. Majeed whose claim is putting thousands of lives of people living with HIV/AIDS at stake.

Sincerely
Indian Network for People living with HIV/AIDS, India
S/d, K. K.ABRAHAM

Council of People living with HIV/AIDS, Kerala,
S/d , BINDU

HIV Positive People Welfare Society (HPPWS), Tamil Nadu,
S/d, RAMA PANDIAN

Zindagi, Goa,
ARUN TOMAR

Manipur Network for Positive People, Manipur,
S/d, L. LILA BANTA

Network of Maharashtra by People living with HIV/AIDS, Maharashtra,
S/d, N.G.RATAN SINGH

Karnataka Network of Positive People (KNP+), Karnataka,
S/d, RAJENDRA.A SHEKRKY

En-Joy, West Bengal, S/d, SANDHYA BANERJEE

Positive Women’s Network (PWN+) , S/d, P.KOUSALYA

Rajasthan Network for People living with HIV/AIDS (RNP+), Rajasthan, S/d, BRIJESH DUBEY

Network of Naga People living with HIV/AIDS (NNP+), Nagaland, S/d, ABEMO

Gujarat State Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GSNP+), Gujarat, S/d, DAXA V PATEL

Telugu Network for People living with HIV/AIDS (TNP+), Andhra Pradesh, S/d, P.V.RAMESH


September 19, 2003
Ernakulam


Copy to: Honourable President of India, New Delhi
Honourable Chief Justice of Supreme Court, New Delhi
Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala

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