KARACHI - Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday lashed out at Sindh Health Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho for failing to take responsibility for children’s deaths in Tharparkar.

A three-member bench of Supreme Court headed by the chief justice and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was hearing a suo moto case regarding the death of five children, who died from malnutrition and measles in Thar earlier this month. He admonished Pechuho, who submitted a report to the court, for ridding himself of all responsibility by saying that children die because they are underweight.

“The report makes it look like you don’t have any responsibility at all,” Justice Nisar said at the SC Karachi registry, suggesting that Pechuho “offer his services to another department”.

The Sindh health secretary then told the court that 50 per cent of the deaths occurred due to pneumonia and diarrhea. He also admitted that doctors did not want to work in the region.

Addressing Senator Raza Rabbani, who appeared before the court, the chief justice said that the judiciary did not want to interfere in executive matters but is “compelled” to do so due to the poor state of affairs. “When we do interfere it is said that we are foolish to interfere in the work of executive,” the chief justice observed.

Referring to a video clip that showed the poor state of a hospital in Larkana, the ruling PPP’s stronghold, the CJP said that he felt “ashamed” and wanted to visit the city to oversee the state of affairs there. He then suggested Senator Rabbani watch that video as well. The CJP expressed concern over the “numerous health problems in Sindh” and said that hospitals hand over the bodies of children to parents who are left with nothing but grief.

Sindh Advocate General Barrister Zameer Hussain Ghumro’s claim that the government had built an “excellent hospital” in Mithi and distributed free wheat in Thar was dismissed by Justice Shah who said that the wheat was “lost in corruption”.

After a recess, the court rejected the report submitted by Pechuho and ordered the government to form a committee comprising “neutral doctors” working in Aga Khan Hospital or other hospitals of similar stature.

WATER POLLUTION CASE

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case pertaining to water pollution in Sindh at Supreme Court’s Karachi registry. Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas and Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar were also present at the hearing.

During the hearing, the CJP questioned the senior journalist if he thinks he intends to take over the rule of the country.

Responding to his question, senior journalist Abbas said, “The work you’re doing is actually the government’s to do.”

As Abbas raised that a lot needs to be done for the provision of basic facilities in the province, the CJP said, “The media stopped me by saying I’m sitting here to ensure justice.”

The senior journalist further added, “Despite government orders, high-rise buildings have been constructed on Karachi’s Khalid bin Waleed Road.”

Stating that half of Shahrah-e-Faisal is shut, the senior journalist suggested, “If service roads are opened, the issue of traffic jams will be resolved.”

To this, the CJP remarked, “The road has been shut by Pakistan Navy and we will get it opened for traffic.”

The Karachi mayor told the registry that buildings and markets have illegally been built on drains across the city.

Akhtar stated that they cannot demolish buildings but in the first phase they will clean drains. “Work is underway on four big drains in the city and if you wish you can take a tour,” the Karachi mayor told the CJP.

Justice Nisar responded to this saying, “First ask, Mazhar Sb if he will take this up on TV tonight.”

“Your chief justice is not ashamed of doing work himself,” he further said.

When the senior journalist raised that there’s widespread encroachment in SUIT and Civil Hospital, the CJP said, “You shouldn’t just write but also take part in practical work. I will make you a part of the commission.”

SERVICE STRUCTURE OF DOCTORS

Supreme Court ordered the health secretary to work out service structures for Sindh doctors within one month. Supreme Court (SC) Karachi registry took up the case for hearing.

Secretary Health Fazalullah Pecho, Advocate Sindh Zameer Ghumru and concerned  authorities appeared in the court.

Affected doctors took the stance during the hearing that the some of the doctors are retired, some have died but still Sindh Government has not taken any decision regarding promotion of the doctors.

Sindh government is making promotions with partiality. The chief justice remarked that we are trying that due demands of doctors are fulfilled.

Do not make irrelevant demands. The case will be returned otherwise, he further observed.

Advocate General Sindh Zameer Ghumro has said that work is underway on regularization of 300 doctors while a committee is being constituted to give allowances to the doctors.

He further said that doctors have been promoted on the bases of period of service.

The chief justice remarked that implementation of court decision should be ensured. Selection Committee should resolve all the problems of affected doctors within a month.