The Drugs Controller General of India has issued notices to 20 online sellers, including Amazon and Flipkart Health Plus, for allegedly selling drugs online without a licence, reported PTI.

The show cause notices, issued by Drugs Controller General of India VG Somani on February 8, cited a 2018 order of the Delhi High Court that prohibits the online sale of medicines without a licence.

The High Court had ordered a stay on the sale of drugs and prescribed medicines by online pharmacies. The court had passed the order in response to a petition that contended that the online sale of drugs would increase the risk of self-medication, the sale of drugs without a prescription, as well as the sale of psychotropic substances.

Last week’s notice to the e-commerce platforms mentioned that selling and distributing medicines requires a licence from the concerned state licensing authority. It also said that licence holders need to comply with the conditions of the document.

The notice asked the online sellers to explain why action should not be taken against them for violating the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

The drug regulator also said that in case the companies do not respond, required action will be initiated against them without any further notice.

Flipkart Health Plus said that it is a digital healthcare marketplace platform that provides convenient access to “genuine and affordable” medicines and healthcare products from independent sellers for its customers, reported PTI. The company added that it will respond to the notice sent by the drug regulator.