KARACHI: The judicial commission on water and sanitation directed on Wednesday the Anti-Corruption Establishment’s (ACE) chairperson to submit details of all the inquiries pending against government officers in connection with corruption in development schemes.
Ali Gohar Khan Mahar, an MNA from Ghotki district, had filed a complaint regarding corruption in funds of water supply schemes in the district. A district and sessions judge concerned had also filed a report, identifying embezzlement in the funds of development schemes.
Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim, who is heading the commission formed by the Supreme Court, told ACE Chairperson Alamuddin Bullo that his inaction against those responsible for corruption despite the issuance of clear directives was contempt of court.
The ACE chairperson informed the judicial commission that the provincial anti-graft watchdog had taken action against several officials. The commission inquired about the number of BPS-17 officers who had been proceeded against by the establishment, to which the ACE chairperson replied that three officers were proceeded against in the current year.
In response to another query, the ACE chairperson candidly admitted that the standard of investigations was not up to par. Bullo maintained that investigation officers were being trained at the judicial academy to conduct effective investigations.
The commission directed the services secretary to submit a detailed report about those officers, who had been posted and transferred in the health department for short periods of time.
It asked the health secretary to furnish a report mentioning progress in the installation of incinerators at public hospitals across the province to ensure safe disposal of hazardous medical waste.
The commission expressed its concerns over the practice of appointing private consultants by the public hospitals’ medical superintendents. It directed the chief secretary to explain if there was any government policy that authorised the medical superintendents to hire private persons.
The commission also took notice of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency’s (Sepa) alleged inaction against 21 stone-crushing plants in Kashmore district.
Justice (retd) Muslim asked an additional advocate-general whether the government departments had taken any action to stop such operations that violated the environmental and other relevant laws.
The law officer suggested to the commission that authorities in the departments concerned be asked to submit their reply in this regard.
A Sepa representative informed the judicial commission that notices had been issued to the owners and operators of the factories involved in the violation of environmental laws. The commission ordered the Sepa director-general to take action in accordance with the relevant laws against the operators of the stone-crushing factories.
Justice (retd) Muslim also expressed displeasure over the absence of the Guddu Barrage managing director during his recent visit to the barrage. The officer explained that he was absent because he was travelling to Islamabad that day.
The commission also issued notice to the chief executive officer (CEO) of Kiran Sugar Mill for allegedly denying entry to Sepa officials for inspection. The Sukkur SSP was directed to ensure the CEO’s appearance before the commission on March 9.