Dhaka, Bangladesh
Adulterated drug sellers should be jailed for life or be hanged: HC

Adulterated drug sellers should be jailed for life or be hanged: HC

News Desk: As law-enforcers seized huge spurious drugs, the High Court on Tuesday observed that those who produce, store and sell adulterated medicine and food should be awarded life-term imprisonment or death penalty. "The persons who sell adulterated medicines at pharmacies are given seven days' imprisonment by the mobile court, which is very minimum. Those who produce and sell adulterated medicine and food should be tried under the Special Powers Act 1974 in order to ensure their maximum punishment," the HC said. Death sentence is the highest penalty under the Special Powers Act. The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul came up with the observation while hearing a writ petition filed by Mahfuzur Rahman Milon, executive director of Justice Watch Foundation, a human rights organisation. During the proceedings, Deputy Attorney-General Abdullah Mahmud Bashar submitted a report from the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) before the HC, saying that expired medicines worth Tk 34.7 crore were damaged, Tk 1.75 crore fine was realised from those who were involved in selling and storing adulterated and date-expired medicines. A total of 572 cases were filed through mobile courts across the county in this connection in the last two months. DAG Bashar placed the report before the HC bench as per its earlier order. Meanwhile, Advocate Shah Monjurul Hoque, the lawyer for Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries, told the HC that his client agrees with the drive against the adulterated medicines. The bench asked him to ensure that the names and expiry dates of medicines are written clearly in Bangla on their strips and fixed December 12 for further hearing on the issue. Barrister ABM Altaf Hossain appeared for the writ petitioner and Advocate Kamruzzaman Kachi stood for the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection (DNCRP). Following the same writ petition, the HC on June 18 had directed the government to confiscate all expired medicines from pharmacies across the country, destroy them and to take legal action against those involved in storing, supplying and selling expired medicines.

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