Drugs Scam: HC Issues Notice To Mantri Sham Lal

Drugs Scam: HC Issues Notice To Mantri Sham Lal

1 May 2013
Kashmir Observer


Srinagar: Fast-tracking a petition on the supply of spurious drugs in Kashmir, the High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the former health minister, Sham Lal Sharma, and ordered the crime branch to submit the latest report of its investigations on Wednesday. The High Court had today begun hearings on a petition filed by the Doctors’ Association Kashmir (DAK) under Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to seek an independent probe into the drugs scam. The division bench of Justices Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Ali Muhammad Magray also issued notices to the state government, the members of the purchasing committee which had approved the drug supply, and private manufacturer Lifeline Pharmaco Surgicals Ltd, whose owners have already been taken into custody by the crime branch. The bench directed whatsoever parties connected to the investigation to submit their latest report tomorrow. It also asked the crime branch to submit the status of its inquiry simultaneously. Sharma, members of the purchasing committee - including the principal of the government medical college Jammu - the Drug Controller, the commissioner secretary for health, and the director of health services have been named as respondents in the DAK petition filed by its chief, Dr. Nisar-ul-Hassan. On apprehensions by DAK counsel that the respondents might destroy drug samples, the High Court directed the additional advocate general Javed Ahmad Kawoosa to ensure that the specimens are preserved. The DAK has already rejected the inquiry instituted by the state government, and demanded that Sham Lal Sharma, who presently hold the Public Health Engineering portfolio, to step down from the council of ministers. Demands for Sharma’s resignation have been echoed by civil society groups, medical associations and employees unions as well, apart from the separatist camp. A joint forum of various medical associations has called for a strike over the issue of spurious drugs on May 6, the day the secretariat opens in the summer capital of Srinagar after six months of stay in Jammu.