Lahore: Physical remand of 13 suspects extended
LAHORE: Thirteen suspects, allegedly involved in the IsoTab reaction tragedy in which around 150 cardiac patients lost their lives, were handed over on Wednesday to Shadman police for another three days. A judicial magistrate granted the physical remand after Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) officials produced the men in court.
Nine of the suspected men are affiliated with Efroze Chemicals, Karachi, two with a Lahore-based medicine supply company and two with the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC).
They will be produced in court on March 31.
The men were arrested on the recommendations of an inquiry committee headed by DIG Zulfiqar Cheema. The committee had recommended registration of murder cases against 10 Efroze Chemicals personnel, whom it found negligent. Their ‘criminal negligence, said the report, had resulted in the contamination of one of the medicines manufactured by the company.
The 10 are: Muhammad Abdullah Feroze (owner), Nadir Feroze (deputy managing director), Khurram Munaf (technical director), Shakeel Ahmad Khan (plant general manager), Muhammad Imtiaz (quality control manager), Tabish Naumani (production executive), Syed Waqas Hussain (supply chain executive), Syed Iftikhar Ahmad (store officer), Syed Razi Haider Kazmi (helper) and Muhammad Shoaib Ansari (helper).
The inquiry committee has also recommended action against distributors, Muhammad Musharraf and Tariq Rehman of Umer Trading Company.
Five officials of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology were also held responsible by the committee for tampering with record of the contaminated batch. They are Muhammad Yousaf (pharmacist/store in charge), Zulfiqar Ali (storekeeper) and members of Inspection of Medicines Committee – Dr Abdul Hameed (AMS Store), Dr Ali Hasan (DMS Store) and Dr Ameer Ali (DMS administration).
High Court inquiry
Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Lahore High Court continued the inquiry into the contaminated drugs on Wednesday.
Dr Izhar Ahmad, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) general secretary and Dr Salman Kazmi, PMA joint secretary, appeared before the tribunal on Wednesday.
Furqan Khurshid Hashmi, an assistant professor (Pharmacy Practice) at the Punjab University, Shah Jehan and Mushtaq Ahmad have been summoned today (Thursday).
The tribunal will ascertain the cause of death of patients who died, determine if their deaths were caused by a reaction to certain drugs, the source of such drugs, fix responsibility at each stage and to recommend how such tragedies can be prevented in the future.