J&K Drug Scam: Medley Company CEO Surrenders

SRINAGAR: In a significant move, a TADA court here on Monday issued non-bailable arrest warrants against all the 14 persons whose names cropped up during investigations conducted by the state authorities into the infamous spurious drugs scam. 

Court however granted bail to the Rahul Kumar Singh of Dehradun (Managing Director M/S Medley Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd Mumbai), after keeping him in judicial custody for over three hours following his surrender.

Sources said that the Judge of TADA court Muzafer Iqbal Qureshi heard the case related to spurious drugs for more than 4 hours on Monday during which Singh appeared before him. Apart from Singh, other accused were also produced before the Judge who issued non bailable warrants to 14 companies and three other persons who are already under custody.

The Judge however granted bail to Singh against a bond of one lakh rupees. The bail was forwarded by his counsel advocate Manzoor Ahmed Dar.

The sources added that the next hearing of the case would be on 24 June. The judge according to sources has directed IGP Kashmir to produce all the accused against whom non bailible warrant have been issued on the next hearing.

Special public prosecutor Musavir Rafiq Joo, while hearing the case in the TADA court, also the designate court under Drugs and Cosmetic Act, granted bail to Surinder Sharma till next hearing.

Out of 15 three accused Akhil Gadoo of Tomal Colony Bohri Jammu, Amardeep Raina of Muthi Jammu, Ashok Kumar Raina of Muthi Jammu (Proprietors of M/S Life Line Pharmaco- Surgicals) are already in the custody of Crime Branch.

The court will again hear the case in the third week of June. A sub-standard drug came to the fore in the first week of April in the valley when the government-run drug testing labs found 12 samples sub-standard. 

Preliminary reports suggest that antibiotic tablets, branded as Maximizin, had "zero per cent" amoxicillin in 625-mg tablets. The drug was supplied to the government hospitals in the state.  

However, the Mumbai-based company distanced itself from the scam and claimed its brand name and packaging were misused by a Jammu-based company.

The hospital supply of Maximizin had come through Life Line Pharmaco Surgicals Ltd, a Jammu-based company owned by Amardeep Raina and Ashok Raina. At least 15 people are facing charges in the sub-standard drugs scam. The TADA court ordered the deputy inspector general (DIG) Crime, Jammu, to bring three accused before the court on the next hearing. It also asked inspector general of police, Kashmir, to present four others before the court "through non-bailable warrants".

Meanwhile, advocate Vishal Sharma filed power of attorney on behalf of four accused.

Special Magistrate, Muzaffar Iqbal Qureshi directed IGP Kashmir to constitute a team of police officers for the execution of non-bailable warrants against the absent accused persons after standing counsel for Drug Controller, Musavir Rafiq argued that the accused have violated various sections of Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and deserve to be punished.

For four accused their counsel assured the Court of their presence on next hearing that has been fixed on June 25.

Pertinently, there are 15 accused who are allegedly involved in fake drug scam. Three of them are in Crime Branch lockup while one has sought interim bail. Rest of the 11 accused have been so far absent and have not appeared before the court.

These accused includes Bipin Kumar of Himachal Pradesh (Analytical Chemist of M/S Affy Parenterals), Prem Prakash Barnwal of Uttar-Pradesh (Director of M/S Sanative Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd), Manjula Barnwal of UP (Director M/S Sanative Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd), Asok Kumar of Dehradun (Analytical Chemist of M/S Sanative Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd), Manoj Kumar Agarwal of Patna-Bihar (Director M/S Sanative Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd), Rahul Kumar Singh of Dehradun (Managing Director M/S Medley Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd Medley House of Mumbai), Arvind Billa (Proprietor of M/S Affy Parenterals Village Gullerwala of Himachal Pradesh), Vilas Bhimarao Thorat of Himachal Pradesh (Manufacturing Chemist of M/S Affy Parenterals Village Gullerwala), Suneet Bhardwaj of Himachal Pradesh (Manufacturing Chemist of M/S Affy Parenterals Village Gullerwala), Sanjay Mishra of Himachal Pradesh (Manufacturing Chemist of M/S Affy Parenterals Vill.Gullerwala) and Suraj Enterprises. The scam surfaced recently after it was exposed that two life saving drugs supplied to Kashmir hospitals - antibiotic Maximizen-625 and Curesef - were found of substandard quality. 

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