Deaths of infants due to spurious drugs: NHRC sees through attempts by J&K administration to delay compensation, gives six weeks to pay


JAMMU: Despite desperate attempts by the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir to stonewall the orders of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and J&K High Court to pay monetary compensation to Next of Kin of infants, who died due to spurious drugs in Ramnagar area of Udhampur district, the NHRC vide its proceedings dated May 6, 2021 has rejected recent attempt of administration to delay the matter. It was stated by Sukesh C Khajuria, a social activist of Jammu, in a press statement issued here on Friday.
Khajuria further said that NHRC, in its order, stated that recent proceeding shall be read in continuation to proceeding dated January 18, 2021 wherein the Commission observed and directed, ‘The Commission has perused the record and reply to the show cause notice and observes that there is no denial of lapse in the case though the Drugs Department of the State does not want to own the responsibility for it. The Commission is unable to accept this contention. The Commission has already found vide its proceedings dated September 7, 2020 that there is a procedural lapse on the part of the Drug Department of the State of Jammu & Kashmir wherein the authority have duly failed to keep a regular vigil on the contamination and contents of medicines sold within its jurisdiction. The Commission therefore reiterates that the State is vicariously liable for said negligence and this case is a fit case for award of compensation. Therefore, the Commission recommends u/s 18a(i) of PHR Act, 1993 to the Chief Secretary, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir to pay monetary compensation of Rs. 3,00,000 to NoK of each deceased in the present case, who died due to the consumption of adulterated oral syrup/medicine and whose human rights have been infringed. The compliance report along with proof of payment be made available to the Commission within six weeks, positively’.
Khajuria said that while on one hand, J&K administration has been trying to delay proceedings, on the other hand it has been preparing to go to the Supreme Court challenging order of J&K High court. He said that it was really sad that J&K administration as well as Union Government, which claim to be guardian of democracy and common people, are trying to evade not only its responsibility but not willing to give a pittance as compensation to poor parents of infant victims. “These shameless governments are spending crores on political bigwigs and bureaucracy. This attitude is deplorable,” he added.