People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 02, 2005
JAC Formed Against Amendment Of the Indian Patents Act
A JOINT action committee (JAC) has been formed to oppose the amendment of the Indian Patents Act by the government at a meeting held at the CITU central office in New Delhi on December 21. (This meeting came before the government promulgated an ordinance amending the Act.)
meeting, presided over by CITU president Dr M K Pandhe, was attended by the Dr
Vandana Shiva (Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology); S
Ramachandran Pillai, AIKS president; P K Ganguly (CITU); Basudev Acharya, CPI(M)
leader in Lok Sabha; S P Shukla (former Planning Commission member); B K Keayla
(National Working Group on Patents); Mohanlal, Delhi CITU general secretary;
Sudhir Kumar, Delhi CITU president; T K Mitra (FMRAI); A K Basu (TUCC); A K
Bhatnagar (AIIEA); D K Abrol (AIPSN/DSF) and Harish Sharma (BEFI). P K Ganguly
has been appointed as convenor of the JAC.
meeting discussed about the proposed Third Patents (Amendment) Bill to allow
product patenting. Taking note of the government’s intention to take the
ordinance route, the meeting resolved to form a broad joint front to resist the
amendment. M K Pandhe in his intervention stressed this aspect.
Ramchandran Pillai informed the meeting about the ceaseless efforts being made
by the Left parties to stall the move of the UPA government to go ahead with the
amendment of the Patents Act. Despite delegations meeting the prime minister
warning about the dangers inherent in this move, the government remained
insensitive to the opposition, he said. Pillai suggested several action
programmes on an all India level to mobilise people in opposing the amendment.
P Shukla explained about the dangers of the amendment to the existing Act. He
exposed the misleading propaganda being made by the government by linking this
to the Agreement on Textiles which would phase out the Multi Fibre Agreement by
December 31, 2004 thus removing the quota system for exports by the developing
countries. He further exposed the bogey of the need to amend the Patents Act by
January 1, 2005 and suggested for joint movements and opposition in parliament
by the MPs, so that the bill cannot get through when brought in parliament.
Vandana Shiva pointed out that such amendment would not only hurt pharmaceutical
sector but would also severely damage agriculture. She also urged for joint
movements by all mass organisations including the peasantry, agricultural labour,
students, youth and women in order to pressurise the government from carrying
through this amendment.
K Keayle briefed about the activities of the National Working Group on Patents
and the joint struggles ever since the government started amending the Patents
leader in Lok Sabha, Basudev Acharia said that the government had already
planned to promulgate the ordinance after the current session ended on December
21. He assured to mobilise MPs to oppose the Bill when it comes up in the
Abrol of All India Peoples Science Network suggested formation of the Joint
Action Committee to launch united movement against the amendment.
CITU leaders suggested holding of an immediate demonstration at Delhi if the
ordinance is promulgated and assured to mobilise the workers.
meeting unanimously decided the following action programmes:
demonstration will be organised at
Delhi immediately after the promulgation of the Ordinance, along with
holding of a press conference.
conventions will be organised at Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad,
Bhopal, Bangalore, Punjab and other places. All these conventions will be
completed by January end.
conventions to mobilise for a central demonstration (March to Parliament) at
Delhi on the second day of the opening of the Budget Session (in February,
small booklet detailing the dangers of amending the Patents Act will be