A plea filed by the authorities in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir in Indian Supreme Court has revealed that at least 10 children have died in Udhampur district of Jammu region due to consumption of India-made spurious cough syrup, which has claimed hundreds of lives in Indonesia and other parts of the world.
The plea was filed in the Supreme Court against an order of the Indian Human Rights Commission to pay compensation of Rs 3 lakh each to the relative of 10 children who died in Udhampur district due to the consumption of spurious cough syrup. However, the court has dismissed the appeal against the compensation.
A bench of Justices M.R. Shah and M.M. Sundresh said officers were found to be negligent and it does not find any reason to interfere in the matter.
“Your officers are found to be negligent. They ought to have been vigilant. Don’t compel us to say things about food and industry department. The health of citizens is in their hands. They don’t perform duties at all. They can’t play with the lives of citizens. It is their duty to check and verify things,” the bench observed.
The top court was hearing a plea filed by the IIOJK authorities challenging the March 3, 2021, order of the high court which had dismissed its plea against the Commission’s order.
Ten children died in Ramnagar tehsil of Udhampur in December 2019 and January 2020 due to the consumption of spurious cough syrup.
The Commission found procedural lapses on the part of the Drugs Department. The Commission recommended compensation of Rs 3 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.
It is worth mentioning here that in October 2022, Indonesia halted the import of all syrup and liquid medicines from India following the deaths of nearly 100 children. The ban was imposed just weeks after an India-made cough syrup in The Gambia was linked to the deaths of nearly 70 children.—KMS