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Dog-bite cases SHC summons govt officials over non-availability of vaccine.

Byline: Nasir Butt

KARACHI -- The Sindh High Court (SHC) ordered on Tuesday additional secretaries of the local government and health departments and Municipal Commissioner of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to appear before the court on September 25 in the case pertaining to the non-availability of the anti-rabies vaccine in the province.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Agha Faisal, while hearing the case, expressed annoyance over the conduct of Karachi Commissioner, KMC officials, the government of Sindh and other relevant authorities. Justice Mazhar remarked that everything would be alright if they summoned these officials in the court. 'Earlier, the KMC used to catch the stray dogs from the city. Where are the officials who used to catch the dogs?' asked Justice Mazhar.

69,453 cases of rabies reported in Sindh this year

Advocate Tariq Mansoor informed the court that the anti-rabies vaccine was not available in public hospitals all over Sindh. According to reports, 92,000 people have been bitten by the dogs this year alone. The government can produce around 600,000 anti-rabies vaccine doses but these vaccines are either not being produced or not being supplied to the hospitals, said Advocate Tariq, adding that children were dying in Sindh due to the non-availability of vaccines and there's no one to look into the matter.

The court remarked that the issue was getting serious, therefore someone would have to take responsibility. The court summoned additional secretaries of the local government and health departments as well the KMC's Municipal Commissioner on September 25 and ordered them to submit their replies in the court.

Swarms of flies

Another SHC bench, comprising Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Mrs Kosar Sultana Hussain, issued notices to the government of Sindh, Karachi Mayor and other relevant agencies over the plea filed against flies swarming the city and the non-disposal of garbage, dirt and filth.

The petitioner's counsel maintained that the offal of sacrificial animals was still lying at some places in the city, filling the atmosphere with a foul odour. The flies and mosquitoes were swarming the city due to the garbage left uncollected. He said that citizens were falling prey to diseases such as Congo and Dengue viruses, throat infections and gastro-intestinal diseases.

Government of Sindh, Karachi Mayor, cantonment boards and other relevant authorities should be ordered to take immediate measures and save the people from these miseries, the petitioner prayed to the court. The government should also be directed to launch an awareness campaign about maintaining cleanliness. The situation of the city will get worse if suitable arrangements are not made in time, he added.

The court issued notices to the government of Sindh, Karachi mayor and other relevant agencies and ordered them to submit their replies by the next hearing.

Disposed of

Another SHC bench disposed of a plea of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Pakistan Peoples Party leader and former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, pertaining to alleged illegal allotment of land at Malir Nadi.

The bench, headed by Sindh High Court Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh and comprising Justice Omar Sial, heard the pre-arrest bail plea of Shah and directed the NAB authorities to complete its investigation first before arresting any person.

The NAB had initiated an inquiry against Shah regarding the illegal allotment of the land in the Malir riverbed in Karachi.

On Tuesday, however, the NAB prosecutor informed the bench that the accountability bureau could not found evidence against the former chief minister as the allotment order of the land was cancelled. He said the bureau has closed the inquiry and will not proceed further in this case.

The court also issued orders for the return of the bail money deposited by Shah.

The Karachi chapter of the NAB had launched an investigation against the Sindh government's officers and others for illegal allotment of 307 acres of land in the Malir riverbed to various beneficiaries.

Bail granted

The same bench granted bail to former director-general of Karachi Development Authority (KDA) Nasir Abbas and eight others in a case relating to the illegal allotment of 137 plots in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.

The court ordered to release the accused, Nasir Abbas and Nadeem Ahmed, from the prison while accepting their bail pleas. The court also confirmed the bails of six other accused, including Syed Iftekhar, Salim Ahmed and Sayed Farzand.

The NAB had filed references against Nasir Abbas and others in an accountability court pertaining to the illegal allotment of plots in Gulistan-e-Jauhar area of Karachi. According to the NAB, illegal allotment of plots cost the national exchequer Rs180 million.

Plea dismissed

The SHC dismissed on Monday the plea of different industries against the increase in the price of gas by the government. A two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Agha Faisal, announced the verdict and remarked that gas prices were being fixed by the government under an established policy.

The bench said that it could not pass on a judgment against government policy. It also remarked that the court could not interfere in the government's decisions made as per policy.

The petitioner failed to satisfy the court on how it was illegal on the part of the government to increase the price of gas.

The petitioner had stated that government's decision to increase gas prices was illegal, adding that under the new prices, general industries are being provided gas at Rs780 per MMBTU, while CNG pumps are being provided gas at Rs600 per MMBTU.

Explanation sought

The same bench sought an explanation from the federal government on October 2 for not submitting the reply over the plea seeking the annulment of the assembly membership of Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

The bench expressed annoyance with Additional Attorney-General Pakistan. Justice Mazhar remarked that the plea was being heard for a long time but no one was here to give a reply on it.

Deputy Attorney-General Nadeem Khan argued that another government lawyer has the brief for this case and he was busy in Supreme Court. The court sought an explanation from the federal government on October 2.

The plea filed by Iqbal Kazmi argued that Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari represent two political parties at the same time. They claim to be the chairpersons of Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian at the same time. The symbol for Pakistan Peoples Party is a sword while the symbol for Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian is an arrow. Since the Peoples, Party is not registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan, both the leaders cannot carry out political activities in the name of this party. These activities are illegal and these leaders are no longer Sadiq and Amin and therefore they may be disqualified.

Plea dismissed

Another SHC bench, comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi, dismissed the bail plea of a UC chairman Rahim Shah in the Irshad Ranjhani murder case.

The bench ordered the trial court to submit a report after the statement of Medico-Legal Officer (MLO), who conducted a post-mortem of Ranjhani in a month. The court also ordered that the bail plea be filed again after recording the MLO's statement.

The court remarked that there were undeniable evidence against the accused therefore the court cannot grant the bail before the statement of the MLO.

According to the First Information Report (FIR), UC chairman Rahim Shah had opened fire on Irshad Ranjhani, who was said to be president of Jeay Sindh Tahreek (JST) Karachi division. A video surfaced on social media showing Irshad lying on the road in a pool of blood.

Five acquitted

The SHC accepted the appeal filed by convicts against the death sentence awarded to them in a case of sectarian terrorism.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Khadim Hussain Tunio, announced the verdict. The prosecution failed to prove its allegations and the court acquitted all five accused in the case due to faulty investigation.

Increasing dog bites: Hospital lacks rabies vaccine

The counsel for the accused Advocate Muhammad Farooq had argued that the case was built on the basis of mala fide intentions. Inspector Mir Aslam tried to present the eye-witnesses forcefully.

According to the police, the special court awarded death sentences to Syed Bu Turab, Furqan Baba Jee and Syed Faisal Mehmood and life imprisonment to Syed Rifat Husain and Azhar Mehmood in the case.

According to the prosecution, the accused opened fire in Azizabad on February 27, 2014 killing Aurangzeb and Abdul Wahid.
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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Sep 4, 2019
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