Kashmir drug scam: Court orders immediate arrest of 15 involved in racket

Taking cognizance of the seriousness of the spurious drug scam in Jammu and Kashmir, a local court ordered the immediate arrest of 15 people involved in the racket whose names have so-far cropped in investigations. The court issued non-baliable warrants against the accused directing the police to produce them before the court on May 27. The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) court passed the order after hearing complaints filed by a drug inspector.

The accused persons are mostly owners or workers of the various pharmaceutical companies and no government officers is part of the list, although it s pretty clear that such an elaborate scam wouldn t have been possible without inside aid. The government handed over investigations to the Crime Branch but not before giving a clean chit to former state Health Minister Lal Sharma even though the Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) and other organizations were asking for him to be arrested and suspended.

Besides, the state government has blacklisted Life Line Pharmaco Surgical Ltd and cancelled its drug license for supplying sub-standard antibiotic medicines. In view of the gravity of the case the Union Health Ministry is separately investigating the case through Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

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The scam came to light earlier this month when it was found that two life-saving drugs supplied to Kashmir hospitals were of substandard quality. Further investigations showed that several other drugs, including injectable ones and even bandages and cotton supplied to hospital were not up to the mark.

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