The failure to properly present drug cases in courts has raised serious questions, with scores of enforcement officials saying that it only demoralised their morale. In a recent episode, the High Court has ordered the release of seized drugs worth about Rs 80 lakh, which the officials say could affect the case.
The enforcement officials said that it was not the first time that the Drugs Department was suffering a setback.
They said that it would be difficult to conduct the case in the court without the seized materials even if the case is pursued further. The release of the drugs has been ordered in about five such cases this year. Liaison officer of the Drugs Department in High Court, Santhosh A R, said that it was not a good trend to release the seized drugs as they had been confiscated for violation of rules.
‘’Though appeals have been filed, we have not been successful when it comes to fighting these majors. It is quite natural that the drug inspectors who are behind the work feel dejected,’’ he said. Strict rules have to be framed against such misuse, he added. Moreover, he said, most of the time the punishment imposed as fines would be meager. ‘’It is the same officials who seized the drugs who have to release them to the drug manufacturers, which really affects their morale,’’ he said.
Drugs Controller C S Satheesh Kumar, however, was not available for comment.
The officials of the Drugs Department, including assistant drugs controllers, senior drugs controllers and drug inspectors, say that they felt let down when their hard work did not bear fruits. ‘’We have seen that the major companies are spared in most of the cases. As the tendency has been there for a long time, we are hardly interested in conducting raids,’’ they said.
It is known that the Health Secretary has been intimated about the continuous failure of drug cases in the High Court. Sources in the Drugs Department alleged that the government pleaders under the Advocate General and the state attorney do not present the cases in a proper manner. Most of the pleaders only protect the interests of the drug manufacturers, they said.