SHC seeks comprehensive report on facilities in govt hospitals of famine-hit areas

September 3, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: While rejecting a report filed by health secretary on health facilities being provided at government hospitals in famine-hit desert of Sindh province, the Sindh High Court (SHC) directed him to file fresh comprehensive and detailed report along with relevant record.

Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar, who headed a division bench of SHC, came down hard on provincial authorities for filing incomplete reports on relief and healthcare facilities provided to drought-affected people of Thar and their efforts geared towards improvement of healthcare facilities.

Two-judge bench was seized with the hearing of three identical petitions pertaining to drought-hit Tharparkar. Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and two other NGOs had gone to the court against Sindh government for turning deaf ear to sufferings of the drought-affected people of desert that resulted in deaths.

The court expressed dissatisfaction over the reports submitted by advocate-general Sindh on behalf of health and food secretaries and directed them to submit comprehensive reports which do not lack in necessary details, more particularly, they should be in line with court queries and various orders passed by it.

At the outset of hearing, counsel for petitioner informed the court that its orders for providing relief and healthcare facilities to drought-hit people were not complied with as only NGOs were doing relief work in the affected areas. He said government wanted to constitute a commission for probe into Thar tragedy in accordance with its wishes to get favourable results.

Earlier, the bench had observed that a suitable approach towards mitigation of issues faced by famine-affected people would be formation of the commission and directed Sindh government to submit its suggestion in this regard.

However, chief secretary Sindh formed three-member commission on its own on April 14. Later, NGO filed contempt application requesting court to punish chief secretary for disobeying its order with regard to formation of commission.

Counsel for applicant submitted that earlier on April 11, SHC bench had directed the federal & provincial law officer and representatives of the applicants to suggest the formation and mandate of the commission but in a deliberate attempt to undermine and violate the April 11 order, chief secretary Sindh issued a notification dated April 14 for formation of so-called three-member commission.

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