2 years & 12 deaths: Himachal Pradesh syrup makers yet to face trial

2 years & 12 deaths: Himachal Pradesh syrup makers yet to face trial

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo

Tribune News Service

Ambika Sharma

Solan, April 20

Over two years after adulterated Coldbest-PC cough syrup claimed the lives of 12 infants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur, the Kala Amb-based manufacturer in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh is yet to face trial.

The state’s Drugs Control Administration (DCA) was yet to finalise its investigations, on the basis of which a chargesheet would be filed in the court against the pharmaceutical company, Digital Vision, officials said.

Initially investigated by the police, the case, reported in February 2020, was returned to the DCA in December 2021 after Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the IPC was dropped, said officials. The case was being further investigated by the DCA, following which it would be sent to the prosecution committee for final scrutiny and filing of chargesheet, they said. “The firm was booked under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Section 308 of the IPC. Section 308 was subsequently dropped as the deaths of infants had takenplace in Udhampur,” said Sirmaur Additional SP Babita Pal.

The firm’s manufacturing licence was suspended, but subsequently restored, first partially and then fully, confirmed Assistant Drugs Controller Garima Sharma. About the delay in prosecution, officials claimed the case was being probed from various aspects. “More than 540 cases involving violations of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, are under various stages of trial in courts. The prosecution has been completed in 150 cases and 18 convictions too have taken place,” said State Drugs Controller Navneet Marwaha.

Technicalities and codal formalities were being fulfilled, following which the prosecution would be launched in this case, Marwaha added.

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