The High Court Division on Tuesday directed the government to remove from medicine stores and destroy date expired medicines within 30 days.
A bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader also directed the government to take action against pharmacists and the pharmaceutical companies for marketing date expired medicines across the country.
The respondents, secretaries of the ministries of health, home, law, commerce and industries and the directors general of Health Services and the National Consumers’ Right Protection Directorate were asked to submit separate compliance reports before the next hearing due on July 16.
The court issued the directives after hearing a public interest litigation writ petition filed by Justice Watch Foundation’s executive director and Supreme Court lawyer Mahfuzur Rahman Milon.
The petitioner attached newspaper reports of a speech of National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate deputy director Manjur Mohammad Shahrier at a discussion on June 10 in which he said that 93 per cent of the pharmacists in the capital sell date expired medicines.
The bench in a rule asked the respondents to explain in four weeks why their failure to take action against selling and storing date expired medicines would not be declared as illegal and why they would not be directed to take action against selling and storing date expired medicines.
The court censured the health ministry for its failure to prevent selling and storing date expired medicines.
When petitioner’s lawyer ABM Ataf Hossain informed the court that an executive magistrate was transferred to a remote area during the Eid vacation for fining Aarong for raising prices of panjabis on the eve of Eid, the court said that an honest magistrate would definitely become demoralised after such action.
The court said that transfer of a magistrate during the Eid vacation was a shame and action should be taken against the transferring authorities.
When Altaf informed the court that the order transferring the magistrate was later withdrawn on intervention from the prime minister, the court wanted to know what were the secretaries’ functions if the prime minister had to intervene everywhere.
The court also wanted to whether the secretaries had been pocketed by various quarters.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country