The High Court yesterday issued an injunction, barring two officials of the drug administration from continuing their jobs for 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 Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star that the health ministry had suspended them on September 23, 2017 following an HC order for negligence in dealing with the case filed for manufacturing toxic paracetamol.
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, he said.
Between June and August in 2009, at least 28 children across the country died of renal failure -- allegedly caused by Rid Pharma’s paracetamol syrups and suspensions.
In August 2009, Shafiqul Islam, the then superintendent of drug administration, filed the case with the Dhaka Drug Court.
On November 28, 2016, the drug court acquitted all five of Rid Pharma’s officials.
Two officials of the drug administration involved in the case knowingly violated due procedure of law, and exhibited sheer negligence and incompetence in dealing with the case, the verdict said.