The Directorate of Factories, Andhra Pradesh, has filed a case against pharma major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories over lapses in safety aspects at its manufacturing facility at Bollaram, in Medak District, around 30 kilometre from here.
It may be recalled that two persons were killed on December 21 last year after inhaling nitrogen gas at Dr Reddy's USFDA-approved plant, which produces active pharmaceutical ingredients.
According to Director of Factories Bala Kishore, the department needs to file charges against the company within 90 days of the incident and accordingly they filed charges in a local court in Medak.
"We filed charges against the company with negligence, issues of safety and standards of equipment, among others," Kishore told PTI.
He said if the court agrees with the charges, there can be a fine ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2,00,000 under the Factories Act, 1992, for causing deaths.
A statement from Dr Reddy's had said, "At the time of the accident, the deceased were handling the process of micronisation of Omeprazole powder. Apart from these two persons, no others were affected. The incident happened in the 'clean room' located in one of the production blocks. The access to that area has been restricted."
"Manufacturing in the rest of the facility is continuing as the problem is limited to that particular area. Investigations by multiple authorities, including the Factories Inspectorate, the Drugs Control Administration, Hyderabad, and the police are in progress and we will share full details once the investigations are concluded."
Kishore said investigations are underway into the second accident on March 17 at another USFDA-approved unit of Dr Reddy's in which two contract workers were charred to death in a fire.
"We have issued notice to the company asking them to explain certain safety aspects. We have given them three months," the official said.