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General News | Apr 1, 2004

High Court sets aside Pharmacy Council's order

GNA

Ho, March 31, GNA- A High Court at Ho on Wednesday set aside an order by the Pharmacy Council leading to the closure of "Freebody" Chemical Shop owned by Mr Freebody Awunyo, at Dzodze, on January 12, this year. The Court awarded a one million cedis cost against the Pharmacy Council and ordered it to renew Mr Awunyo's licence within 14 days from Wednesday. This followed an application of mandamus and certiorari brought by Mr Awunyo, seeking the Court's order to quash the Pharmacy Council's decision.

The Court presided over by Mr Justice Richard Apaloo said the Pharmacy Council's action constituted a breach of natural justice, bias, want of excess of jurisdiction and error of the law in the face of the records available. He said: "the wheel of justice grinds slowly but will get to its destination. Instant justice and vendetta has never been part of our jurisprudence." He described the action by the Council as "high-handed" and contravening section 29 sub-section 2 and section 43 of the Pharmacy Council Act 489. "In my view any violations of the rights of parties appearing in the proceedings and denial of these rights is prima facie, a breach of natural justice", he said.

Mr Justice Apaloo observed, that Mr Awunyo's misconduct against an official of the Council who went to enforce the Council's decision that day constituted gross disrespect to law and order and was contemptuous of the institution he was affiliated to.

Mr Awunyo contended in an affidavit that he was not given the opportunity to explain himself when he appeared before the Council on December 2, 2003, to respond to allegations of obstructing an inspecting officer, stocking and selling Class "A" and "B" drugs, operating without license and re-opening closed premises. He said he was subsequently fined seven million cedis and suspended for three months.

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