DAK demands capital punishment for spurious drug dealers

Srinagar: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today demanded capital punishment for those involved in manufacture and sale of spurious drugs, terming it as a “crime against humanity”.

President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said that death penalty will act as a powerful deterrent and will effectively curb the menace of spurious drugs which is a grave crime as precious human lives are lost.

While expressing dismay over recommendations of legislative assembly committee wherein those involved in spurious drug trade should be booked under PSA, Dr Nisar said that it is a mere eye wash as it is a preventive and not a punitive measure.

“Kashmir is a safe haven for spurious drugs as the drug market which is in its dragnet is unregulated and unchecked. There is a deep rooted nexus between drug Mafia and shoddy pharma units that pump massive quantities of substandard drugs in the valley,” he said.

DAK, he said exposed spurious drug scam in 2013 and since then hundreds of drugs have been declared spurious/substandard, killing children and adults.

“Everyday people die of this criminal activity and except for some cosmetic measures nothing is being done to eliminate the menace which seems to be an organized crime supported by certain powerful vested interests,” Dr Nisar said.

The DAK President said that in view of serious implications of spurious drugs on public health, Drug and Cosmetic Act was amended in 2008 which contains stringent provisions such as maximum penalty for life imprisonment.

“The amended act has provisions to have special courts for handling spurious drug cases so that judicial proceedings can be expedited,” Dr Nisar said.

He referred to the Mashlekar committee in 2003 that recommended enhancement of penalty for sale and manufacturing of spurious drugs from life imprisonment to death sentence to end the “menace” that endangers human safety.

“In 2007 former head of China’s state food and drug administration was executed for his involvement in substandard drugs which proved to be a strong deterrent,” he said, adding “The high number of infant deaths in GB Pant hospital in 2012 which were blamed to logistic issues were because of spurious drugs,”