LAHORE, Jan 1: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday imposed a temporary ban on the sale of Tyno cough syrup in the wake of deaths in Lahore and Gujranwala.

Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi passed this order on a public interest petition filed by the Judicial Activism Panel and also sought replies from the cabinet division federal secretary and the Punjab health secretary.

On Tuesday, neither federal nor provincial authorities appeared before the court. On court’s short notice a deputy attorney general appeared to represent the federal government.

He told the court that after 18th Amendment the health department had also been devolved to provincial government. He said the provincial government was responsible for the sale and purchase of drugs.

Justice Naqvi remarked that the Drug Regulatory Authority was a federal government’s department and the federal government was equally responsible for authentication of the drugs.

The judge adjourned further hearing till Jan 16 and directed the law officer to ensure submission of replies on behalf of the respondents.

JAP Chairman Azhar Siddique had submitted in the petition that dozens of deaths after the use of Tyno syrup had been occurred in Lahore, Gujranwala and Kamoki areas.

He said the chemical samples collected from the victims’ stomachs contained dextromethorphan, a synthetic morphine derivative used in cough syrup that could have dangerous effects if consumed in large quantity.

The petitioner stated it was being investigated whether the people affected by the syrup consumed too much of it, or whether there was a problem with the medicine itself.

He argued that even if the victims were addicts, protection to their lives was guaranteed under the Constitution. He said if the sale of the syrup was not banned, it would lead to deaths on a large scale. He requested the court to impose a complete ban on the sale of Tyno syrup.

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