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Published On: Mon, Dec 18th, 2023

Justice Jaiteh Says Government Should Consider Legal Action Against India 

The presiding judge, Justice Jaiteh of the high court in the lawsuit filed by the nineteen families affected by Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) seeking justice for the alleged tragic demise of 70 children said, if the Indian government fails to take appropriate action, the government of the Gambia should consider legal action against India.

Justice Jaiteh highlighted that it is the responsibility of the Indian government to ensure that their productions are fit for purpose and not claiming the lives of Gambians. 

“The Indian government cannot turn a blind eye to companies who are producing medicines in India but only sell those medicines to outside countries, not India. So the government of the Gambia should take the Indian government to court,” Hon. Justice Jaiteh  said.

However, Senior State Counsel Binga emphasized the need to exhaust diplomatic means before resorting to legal action. “We cannot just get up and take the Indian government to court. We have to follow protocols,” Binga asserted.

Counsel Binga further explained that they have taken steps internationally and are currently engaged in diplomatic talks with the Indian Government to progress legal proceedings against Maiden Pharmaceuticals. Lawyer Senghore seized the opportunity to explain that the Government can’t shift all the blame on the Indian company or government as the Gambia has a responsibility to test the drugs before being distributed in the Gambia.

Senior State Counsel Binga also updated Hon. Justice Ebrima Jaiteh on the continued negotiations between The Office of the Attorney General , Ministry of Justice and the families affected by Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), expressing the government’s commitment to resolving the matter outside the courtroom.

Counsel Binga informed the court, “We had serious discussions with the Counsels representing the plaintiffs (Families of AKI Victims). We have made progress with the issue of compensation, which the state is looking into. By the grace of God, on the next adjourned date, the government will come up with an indefinite position regarding the settlement.”

In response, Counsel Yassin Senghore, the legal representative for the AKI victims’ families, confirmed ongoing discussions with the state regarding an out-of-court settlement.

“We have not reached any agreement yet, and we are open to settling the matter outside the court. My lord, just for the record, this settlement outside the court should not bar the court to proceed with the matter,” Counsel Senghore stated.

Addressing the issue of their service to Maiden Pharmaceuticals, Senghore informed the court that their contact in India assured them of providing a notice of service by midday on the same day. “We have been working with a lawyer in India, and he promised us that he will get back to us by midday today (Friday) with a notice of service. We have been making diligent efforts to ensure that we get the service done,” Counsel Senghore stated.

Hon. Justice Jaiteh subsequently adjourned the case to January 31st, 2024.

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