Dehradun, December 29: A single bench of Uttarakhand High Court has ordered Divya Pharmacy, a manufacturing unit of Swami Ramdev-owned Patanjali Yogpeeth to share a percentage of its profits with local farmers and communities.
The bench of Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia gave the verdict while rejection a petition from Divya Pharmacy against the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB). The HC upheld the provisions of fair and equitable benefit-sharing citing the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.
The court observed that the biological resources constitute the crucial ingredient and raw materials in the manufacture of ayurvedic and nutraceutical products. Also, it ordered the Ramdev-owned pharmacy to share Rs. 2 crores out of its Rs. 421-crore profit with the farmers of the raw products used by his company.
Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) had earlier directed Divya Pharmacy to share the profit with the farmers and local communities a per the Biological Diversity Act. The pharmacy, however, shrugged the directions by claiming that UBB neither had the authority nor the jurisdiction to pass such an order. The pharmacy also stated that it was not liable to pay or make any kind of contribution to the farmers and the locals.
The High Court maintained that India was a party to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity so the country is obliged to give importance to the provisions of the treaty. It also said that UBB had the required authority to pass the order demanding the amount from the pharmacy.
The bench said that the biological resources are a property of the nation together with belonging to the communities which produce them.