Human Rights Law Network

Media Reports

Why seriously affected clinical trial patients not compensated? Supreme Court asks

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NEW DELHI: After ensuring that multinational pharmaceutical majors compensate those who die during clinical trials of their new drugs, the Supreme Court on April 22 2014 pulled up the Centre for not forcing the sponsors to provide similar relief to those suffering serious adverse effects during such trials. Taking up PILs seeking stringent yet transparent guidelines and norms for conduct of clinical trials in India, a bench of Justices R M Lodha and Kurian Joseph asked additional solicitor general Sidharth Luthra for details on compensation paid to patients adversely affected during clinical trial of new drugs.

The health ministry had responded to allegations by NGO, Swasthya Adhikar Manch, that Indians were used as guinea pigs by foreign pharmaceutical majors for human trials of their new drugs and said of the 57,303 enrolled subjects, 39,022 completed the trials. "Serious adverse events of deaths during the clinical trials during the said period were 2,644, out of which 80 deaths were found to be attributable to the clinical trials," the ministry had said. Luthra said kin of all 80 patients, who died because of adverse effects, were compensated by the sponsors.


Report on Manipur killings examined at highest level: Centre

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The Centre on 9 April, 2013, submitted before the Supreme Court that findings of the apex court appointed committee's report on extra judicial killings in Manipur are being examined at highest level.

Appearing before a bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam, Additional Solicitor General Paras Kuhat said the Santosh Hegde committee report is seen at highest level in Army headquarters and Home and Defence ministries.

He said that the Central government is absolutely committed that no fake encounter should take place in Manipur and equally aggrieved by the incidents that had taken place.


Extra-judicial killings: SC slams Manipur over response

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The Supreme Court on 24 Nov 2012 questioned the "orientation" of the Manipur government over extra-judicial killings in the state and reprimanded it for drawing a parallel with the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, which are already under the court's scanner over contentious encounters.

Manipur, in its response to a PIL which alleged 1,528 extra-judicial killings in last 30 years in the state, had requested the court to consider this matter along with two other pending cases relating to encounter killings.

In one case, the SC is adjudicating a plea over 99 encounters in Maharashtra between 1995 and 1997 while in the other, the Gujarat government has filed a writ asking for framing a uniform national policy to independently investigate all the encounter cases in the country and further direct such an agency to probe all encounters in the past 10 years.


HRLN fight against Racism

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Reingamphi Awungshi was found dead in her rented flat in a south Delhi neighbourhood on 29 May 2013. She was 21 from Manipur.It has been less than a year since her death, and it would have been forgotten, the case closed, if it wasn’t for Golmei, an activist and founder-member of Burma Centre Delhi and Human Rights Law Network. The police were refusing to file a first information report (FIR). The same night even before the post-mortem was completed, the police announced that it was a suicide and the injuries to her face, legs, and feet were caused by rats after her death. The next day after the post-mortem the police told Reingamphi’s relatives and friends to take her body from the mortuary, and that the case was closed.

The protesters didn’t budge until the case was transferred to the crime branch, and on 3 June, an FIR was finally registered for murder. The Human Rights Law Network is fighting the case for free. The latest test reports conclude that no drugs or poison were found in her body, and that there was semen on her clothes, though the cause of death is still not clear.

The court has ordered a DNA test to see if the semen matches that of Reingamphi’s landlord and his brother-in-law, both of whom had access to her house from a back door which was found open when her body was discovered,” says Amiy Shukla, the lawyer who is handling the case.


UP opposes CBI probe into Muzaffarnagar riots

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New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday opposed a plea for a CBI probe into the Muzaffarnagar riots, and told the Supreme Court that it did everything to contain the violence that broke out in September 2013.

"We have done everything at our command and to the best of our ability in containing the riots. There was no complicity of state police in the riots," counsel UU Lalit told the bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Ranjan Gogoi. 

The apex court was hearing a batch of petitions, including from Mohammed Haroon, Supreme Court Bar Association, Meerut district-based Jat Mahasabha and NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace, seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and relief measures like equal compensation to all the riot victims. The Uttar Pradesh government too moved the court. Lalit told the court that everything would go haywire if the riot cases were transferred to the CBI at this stage as Uttar Pradesh Police has already investigated the cases and filed charge sheets in some of them.

He said there was no discrimination in the distribution of compensation. The perception that victims from the minority community got more compensation was wrong. The court was told there were many more victims from the minority community than from those belonging to other communities. On an intervention by counsel Colin Gonsalves, appearing for one of the petitioners, the court asked Lalit to explain why there were differences in the grant of compensation. 

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HRLN is a division of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and educational organization, registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, Indian Public Trust Act, 1950 and the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.