The Punjab health department on Thursday announced the suspension of its chemical examiner RP Singh and three others, of whom three were on the run for over two months now after the Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) lodged an FIR against them in the drug lab scam case.
Health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani announced their suspension on "account of absence from duty" as he signed the suspension orders here on Thursday.
Besides RP Singh, the others suspended are lab technician Lekh Raj, junior assistant Rajesh Mishra and Mohit Gugnani, a class-4 employee. Lekh Raj and Mishra are still at large, while Gugnani had surrendered in court in December 2013.
The VB had formally written to the health department 10 days ago for "a strict action against them" for their names as the accused in the FIR lodged against them in October 2013.
The VB had registered the case on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court where a specific case of a fake report of the testing of the opium samples had surfaced during a court hearing.
The VB, which is tight-lipped over the ongoing investigations, had, however, come on record that it had detected 236 lab test reports where the samples of the seized drugs like opium, smack and heroin were found as negative.