Toxic Paracetamol: HCrestricts 2 officials from doing their jobs
08:09 PM, July 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:28 PM, July 18, 2019

Toxic Paracetamol: HC restricts 2 officials from doing their jobs

The High Court issued an injunction restraining two officials of the drug administration from continuing jobs for their negligence in dealing with a case filed for manufacturing toxic paracetamol that killed 28 children in 2009.

The two officials are assistant director of the Directorate General of Drug Administration Shafiqul Islam and its deputy director Altaf Hossain.

The HC bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah passed the order following a petition moved by Advocate Manzill Murshid on behalf of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) seeking necessary order.

Advocate Murshid told The Daily Star the health ministry had suspended them on September 23, 2017 following a HC order for their negligence in dealing with the case.

But, the ministry withdrew the suspension order and reinstated them in the service on March 31 this year after simply rebuking them which was not an adequate punishment for them.

Today, the HC also issued a rule asking the government and Shafiqul Islam and Altaf Hossain to explain in two weeks why the withdrawal of their suspension should not be declared illegal.

From June to August in 2009, at least 28 children across the country died of renal failure allegedly caused by Rid Pharma's paracetamol syrups and suspensions.

Shafiqul Islam, the then superintendent of drug administration, filed the case with the Dhaka Drug Court the same year.

On November 28, 2016, the drug court acquitted all five of Rid Pharma's officials.

According to the court verdict, two officials of the drug administration involved in the case knowingly violated due procedure of law, and exhibited sheer negligence, inefficiency and incompetence in dealing with the case.

Shafiqul Islam and Altaf Hossain were drug superintendents in 2009.

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