LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday imposed an interim ban on manufacturing and sale of Tyno cough syrup and sought replies from the federal and Punjab governments.
During the course of hearing, the judge posed a query to the deputy attorney general as why federal government was sitting silence over the deaths because of the killer syrup?
The DAG replied that after promulgation of 18th amendment the powers had been delegated to provincial governments regarding issues of health care and injurious drugs.
The judge, however, said despite the introduction of 18th amendment it was still the responsibility of federal government to stop manufacturing and sale of spurious drugs under the article 37(g) of the Constitution. And no one would be allowed to play havoc with the lives of innocent people.
On Tuesday, neither an official of health department appeared before the court nor a reply was furnished on its behalf. So, the court banned the manufacturing and sale of the syrup and sought replies from respondent governments by January 16. JAP chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique advocate said 33 people perished in Gujranwala and Kamoke areas because of killer syrup.
Counsel said chemical samples collected from the victims’ stomachs contained dextromethorphan, a synthetic morphine derivative used in cough syrup that can have mind-altering effects if consumed in large quantities.
He said it was being investigated whether the people affected by the syrup consumed too much of it, or whether there was a problem with the medicine itself. Azhar said even if the victims were drug addicts even then the protection to their lives was guaranteed under article 9 of the constitution.
He submitted that if sale of the medicine was not stopped, it would result into deaths on a massive scale. He requested the court to impose complete ban on sale of this syrup and physicians should be restrained from prescribing the medicine.
DISMISSED: The LHC dismissed two petitions moved against police investigation in the case of causalities of more than 150 cardiac patients after administering spurious drugs at Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC).
The court asked the seven petitioners to join pending proceedings before the sessions court in view of Supreme Court directions issued in Suo-moto in PIC drugs scam.
PIC doctors Sheikh Waris, Nasir Mahmood and Muhammad Amir, storekeeper Zulfqar Ali, pharmacist Muhammad Yousaf and two drugs distributors Tariqur Rehman and Musharrafur Rehman have moved the two petitions challenging the police investigations in the case registered at Shadman Police Station under various sections of PPC including murder.
The petitioners had sought directions for change of investigation and cancellation of the FIR by submitting that issue of contaminated medicines didn’t fall in police jurisdiction and the drug authorities was competent to deal with such matters.
When the court resumed hearing on Tuesday, it was informed that except the seven petitioners, 12 accused including two owners of Efroz Pharmaceutical Company namely Abdullah Feroz and his son Nadir Abdullah had been declared as absconders by the investigation police, and an advertisement in this regard would be released soon.
Additional Prosecutor General Abdul Samad further informed the court that police had registered the case against 19 accused persons, and only seven of them approached the court in light of apex court directions securing interim bails.
He argued that the charge sheet against accused persons to the extant of murders would be submitted to the sessions court on next date of hearing, January 4, while the same regarding spurious medicines would be submitted before the drugs court.