HC tells DGDA on deaths of children between 1991 and 2009
News Desk : dhakamirror.com
The High Court yesterday ordered the Directorate General of Drug Administration to pay Tk 15 lakh each to the families of 104 children who died after taking toxic paracetamol syrup in 1991 and 2009.
It also asked the DGDA to pay the victims’ families first and then collect the money from the companies or individuals responsible for producing the toxic syrup.
Th court also observed the directorate cannot avoid responsibilities of incidents that killed 104 children.
The authorities concerned must take appropriate action under the Special Powers Act against those responsible, observed the court.
The HC also declared the inaction of the drug administration to control toxic medicine illegal.
The HC bench of Justice Md Ashraful Kamal and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil came up with the verdict and observations in response to a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) in 2010.
Petitioner’s lawyer Manzill Murshid said that 76 children died in 1991 and 28 children in 2009 after consuming toxic paracetamol syrup.
The government will have to take action against the companies and individuals responsible for manufacturing the toxic syrup under section 25(C) of the Special Powers Act, 1974, he said.
The section reads, “Whoever adulterates any drug or medical preparation in such a manner as to lessen the efficacy or change the operation of such drug or medical preparation, or to make it noxious, intending that it shall be sold or used for, or knowing it to be likely that it will be sold or used for, any medical purpose, as if it had not undergone such adulteration shall be punishable with death, or with [imprisonment for life], or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years, and shall also be liable to fine”.
No lawyer for the DGDA appeared before the HC yesterday.
– With The Daily Star input