LAHORE - The Supreme Court on Sunday directed environment and health secretaries to personally inspect incinerators installed at various public hospitals to treat clinical waste and submit verified reports.

Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, a three-judge bench passed the order while hearing a suo motu case relating to clinical waste at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry.

Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed, Advocate General of Punjab Shakil-ur-Rehman, PBC Vice Chairman Ashan Bhoon and others appeared before the court.  The chief justice expressed dismay at the unsafe disposal of clinical waste and environmental pollution, observing that “cats and dogs are littering roads with their waste and this is destructive for people’s health”.

“Scavengers are picking clinical waste,” CJP Nisar said and added that “this matter would be taken up at a later stage”.

Ayesha Hamid, head of the court commission, submitted her report and informed the court about the status of disposal of clinical waste. She informed the court that 30 incinerators were being procured and they would be functional in April.

The chief secretary informed the court that vehicles, which would be used to pick waste, were also being procured. She said that out of 54 incinerators, 47 were functional in various parts of the province.

During the proceedings, the chief justice said that people suffered at hospitals due to a lack of facilities and non-provision of medicine. The chief secretary said that a state of the art drug laboratory was established and medicine samples were being sent to various countries. The lab was procuring medicine and the issue of medicine would be resolved soon.

“We have short-listed the companies that shall install their equipment at the public hospitals and render their services for medicines and other facilities,” the chief secretary said.

On this, the chief justice asked the chief secretary to apprise the court of the budget for the health and education sectors. The chief secretary sought ten minutes. However, the court asked him to provide the details later.

Taking up tax matter of private medical colleges, the chief justice directed the health secretary and others to submit reports about payment of tax by private medical colleges.

The bench also sought details of salary of house officers at public hospitals. One of the officials told the court that a house officer was getting Rs45,000 per month. The reply irked the chief justice and he said it was very unfortunate that they had been getting such a low package of salary despite getting medical education.

Salman Kazmi, member of the Young Doctors Association, told the court that quacks were working in different parts of the city. On this, the chief justice asked him to give him photo if he sees any so that he can issue orders for action against quacks.  Taking up the matter of mushroom growth of law colleges, the Supreme Court on Sunday directed law commission and provincial committees to inspect the standard of legal education at private law colleges. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar and consisting of Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Ijazul Ahsan took up the matter at the SC Lahore registry.

Punjab University Law College principal and public sector universities vice chancellors, Pakistan Bar Council Vice Chairman Ahsan Bhoon and Azam Nazir Tarar appeared before the court.

The chief justice observed that he wanted quality legal education. “We want lawyers and not clerks,” the top judge remarked.

The bench directed the think-tank to submit report within six weeks and the special inspection committee to furnish their reports in five days.

The court adjourned the main case until March 6, asking the court officer to fix it before the principal seat.