HC quashes govt-Rose Medical agreement for supply of NAT machines

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court today quashed the agreement between the state government and Rose Medical for supply of five Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) machines to the three government-run medical colleges and hospital in the state and the Capital Hospital here to ensure safety in blood transfusion and thus prevent spread of HIV and Hepatitis through infected blood.

The court issued the directive after reviewing a petition filed by Hemogenomics Pvt Ltd (formerly Novartis Diagnostics), a Bangalore-based company.

In May, 2011, the Orissa High Court had directed the state government to set up five NAT machines—two in SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and one each in MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur and VIMSAR in Burla—and the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar following reports of transfusion of infected blood to the patients.

Acting on the directive, the state government had floated tenders for which two companies—Rose Medical and Hemogenomics— had submitted bids.

Of the two bidders, the state government had settled for Rose Medical and signed an agreement with the company for supply of NAT machines.

However, citing gross irregularities in the bidding process by the state government, Hemogenomics had filed a petition in the Orissa High Court alleging that Rose Medical has supplied sub standard NAT machines, which were inaugurated by the Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak on the occasion of the World Blood Donors’ Day on June 14 this year.

After hearing the argument by the petitioner, the court today quashed the agreement between the state government and the Rose Medical and directed the state government to re-examine the technical bid of these two companies and take a final decision by October this year.