Toxic Paracetamol: HC summons health secretary Aug 23
06:07 PM, August 21, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:23 PM, August 21, 2017

Toxic Paracetamol: HC summons health secretary Aug 23

The High Court today summoned Health Secretary Sirajul Haque Khan to appear before it on August 23 to explain why action was not taken against two officials of the drug administration.

READ MORE: All Rid Pharmaceuticals accused acquitted; court points to drug admin's negligence

The health secretary was earlier ordered to inform the HC what action was taken against the two officials for their negligence in dealing with the case filed for manufacturing toxic paracetamol syrup that killed at least 28 children in 2009. 

The officials are Assistant Director of the Directorate General of Drug Administration Shafiqul Islam and its Deputy Director Altaf Hossain.

READ MORE: Toxic Paracetamol: HC enquires about negligent drug officials

The HC bench of Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md Ataur Rahman Khan today issued the summons during hearing a petition moved by Supreme Court lawyer Manzill Murshid on behalf of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh. 

Advocate Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star that the health secretary today submitted a report to the HC through the attorney general’s office, saying that the government has cautioned Shafiqul Islam and Altaf Hossain, although they had negligence in dealing with the case filed for manufacturing toxic paracetamol syrup that killed the children.

READ MORE: Health secy, senior asst secy face contempt

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

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

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

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, the verdict said.

Shafiqul Islam and Altaf Hossain were drug superintendents in 2009.

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