KARACHI - It was a hectic day for the MPAs on Wednesday as Sindh Assembly passed five bills into law by giving legal cover to the voluntarily transplantation of human organs and tissues and suggesting punishment of ten years imprisonment against illegal removal of organs.

Besides passing three other bills to establish first-ever University of Law in the country in Karachi and allowing establishment of two other universities, the House also passed another bill, the Sindh Public Procurement amendment law.

The law will give exemption to the government in following the rules of public procurement regulatory authority in procurement of machines and articles, however, the MQM opposed the amendment and termed the move will cause increase corruption in the province. The House commenced at 11.13am with chairman of the panel MPA Dr Sikandar Mandhro in the chair with heavy attendance of the members.

When the chair announced the assent of the Acting Governor to the “Sindh (Repeal of Sindh Peoples Local Government Act 2012 and Revival of Sindh Local Government Ordinance 1979) Bill 2013”, the PPP MPAs thumped the desks in jubilation. But it was surprised that no strong opposition seen from the MQM side as slow voices of ‘Shame Shame’ were echoed in the House in soft mood. The Chair also announced assent of two other bills-Sindh Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill 2013 and Sindh High Density Development Board (Amendment) Bill 2013.

Later, Law Minister Ayaz Soomro tabled the ‘Sindh Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Bill, 2013”, which to regulate, removal, storage and transplantation of human organs and tissues for therapeutic purpose.

He said that after the commencement of this law, the provincial government would appoint as many evolution committees as may be necessary consisting of a surgical specials, a medical specialist, a transplantation specialist, a nephrologists and a neuro-physician and two local notables having a good record of social service. The committees will be established for every recognized medical institution and hospital where at least twenty-five transplants are being carried out annually. It will ensure that no organ or tissue is retrieved from non-related living donors without the prior approval of the committee.

According to the law, the transplantation of human organs or tissues or removal of any part of the human organ will only be carried out by the recognised professionals from the body of the deceased ensuring that written certificate has been obtained from the committee. The law stated that no human organ or tissue will be removed from the body of a living person except for donation by a living person.  The new law further stated that the living donor who is not less than eighteen years of age, may voluntary donate any organ or tissue of his body to any other living person genetically and legally related, who is close blood relative including parent, son, daughter, sister and brother, while the evolution committee may allow donation by a non-close blood relative after satisfying itself that such donation is voluntary.

The government has proposed punishment to control the illegal removal of human organs. According to new law, anyone found involved in removal of any human organ without permission of the authority shall be punished for a term of ten year imprisonment with fine which can be extended to one million rupees.  However, government would constitute a monitoring authority. The health minister will be chairman of the committee and members included secretary health, police surgeon and nominees from Pakistan Medical Association for Sindh, Ophthalmological Society of Sindh, Transplantation Society of Sindh and a surgical transplant specialist etc. The monitoring committee can hold inquiry into the allegation of breach of provision of the act.

Speaking on the occasion the lawmakers while appreciating the legislation paid tribute to the services to the Dr Abeeb Rizvi, of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT). 

MQM parliamentary leader Sardar Ahmed, Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro, Sindh Culture Minister Sassui Palijo and others while speaking on the bill lauded the services of Dr Rizvi who according to them has dedicated his life for the well being of people and setup the SIUT, terming him ‘Angel’ for humans.    Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq was of the view that Sindh government has enhanced the grant of SIUT from Rs1 billion to two billion annually.

Later, Sindh Assembly also passed ‘The Sindh Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill 2013’ with majority vote as MQM lawmakers opposed the amendment in the law.

MQM’s Syed Sardar Ahmed said that public procurement regulatory authorities were established at provinces’ level, which aimed to ensure transparency in the procurement in the government. But by exempting the government through amending the law the corruption will increase in the province as contracts would be awarded on the basis of favoritism. The house also passed another “Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Law, Karachi Bill 2013’ in Karachi. Law minister said that this university would be first kind of the institution in law.

House also adopted another bill “Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Dewan University Bill 2011” in private sector in the Karachi.  Passing another bill “Dawood University of Engineering and Technology Bill 2013”, education minister Pir Mazhar said that earlier Dawood College was under the control of federal government, which transferred to the province. He said that government will be controlling authority for announcing the admission policy in the university.

MQM member Khowaja Izhar moved two amendments suggesting Syndicate as controlling authority for admission policy, which house rejected with majority vote.

PML-F’s MPA Marvi Rashdi appreciated the bill, saying that students of the other districts were deprived of the education in the Karachi University, so no need to give controlling authority to the Syndicate of university.

At least 6,000 seats are reserved for the students of the Karachi, while only 36 seats are allocated for the rest of the Sindh in the Karachi University, which is unjustified, PMF-F MPA complained.

However, the House passed Dawood University bill Karachi into law unanimously. The Chair adjourned the session to meet again today on Thursday.