SC forbids two drug admin officials to hold offices

Staff Correspondent | Published: 14:25, Oct 13,2019


The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Sunday upheld a High Court Division’s injunction forbidding drug administration deputy director Altaf Hossain and assistant director Shafiqul Islam to hold their offices because of their negligence.

On July 18 the high court ordered the officers not to hold their offices as they continued despite they were suspended by health ministry for their negligence in the investigation into the deaths of 28 children after taking toxic Paracetamol syrup of Rid Pharmaceuticals Limited in 2009.

On July 23, the Appellate Division’ chamber judge after hearing a petition jointly filed by the two officers, stayed the  high court order and fixed full court hearing on their petition.

On Sunday, the full court vacated the stay order issued by the high court after hearing a supplementary writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh challenging the legality of continuing in their offices.

In August, 2017, the health ministry suspended deputy director Altaf Hossain and assistant director Shafiqul Islam following an order passed by High Court on August 3, 2017.

The two officers were suspended immediately after the High Court summoned health ministry secretary Mohammad Serajul Haque Khan to explain what action was taken against them as the trial court found them negligent.

The court had issued the suspension order after hearing a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh seeking action against the two officers as recommended by the Dhaka Drug Court in its verdict on November 28, 2016.

In the verdict, the drug court acquitted all the five accused, top officials of Rid Pharmaceuticals Limited, of the charges of producing and marketing toxic Paracetamol syrup that caused the deaths of children in 2009.

In the verdict, the court observed that the prosecution failed to prove the charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt and the accused were acquitted of the charges due to negligence in the investigation into the case.

At least 28 children died of renal failures after taking Paracetamol syrup from June to August of 2009 across the country.

On August 10, 2009, the then drug superintendent Shafiqul Islam filed the case with the Dhaka Drug Court against the five

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