SHC seeks replies on non-payment of dues on purchase of medicines

Outstanding dues amounting to Rs17m are to be paid by the Sindh govt, says petitioner's counsel

​ Our Correspondent November 15, 2019

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) sought replies on Thursday from the finance department secretary and the local government secretary on a plea pertaining to the non-payment of dues by the Sindh government on the purchase of medicines.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Syed Hassan Azhar Rizvi and Justice Kausar Sultana heard the plea filed by the local government.

During the hearing, the counsel for the local government, Advocate Sameer Ghazanfar, informed the court that the provincial government had approved funds for the purchase of medicines to be used at 13 public hospitals. Following this, the medicines were purchased and have been utilised but the finance department has held back the payment, he said. Ghazanfar complained, "Now pharmaceutical companies are registering cases [against the local government] one after another."

Certain life-saving drugs in short supply

At this, the court inquired whether the funds allocated for the purchase of medicines have been released or not. Replying to the court's query, Ghazanfar maintained that outstanding dues, amounting to Rs17 million, are to be paid by the provincial government but it is not willing to clear the dues.

The court sought replies over the non-payment of dues from the finance department secretary and the local government secretary, directing them to submit the replies by December 12.

Pleas rejected

Another two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Abdul Mubin Lakko, rejected the bail pleas of the three workers of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London (MQM-L), who have been accused of killing a member of an opposition political party and injuring three persons. The accused include Mehmood alias Sannata, Asif alias Lamba and Umair Javed.

As the hearing commenced, Special Public Prosecutor Sajid Mehboob Sheikh informed the court that the three accused belong to Raees Mama group of MQM-L. He claimed that they have been involved in multiple target killings and terrorist activities, on the orders of MQM-L's leadership. Sheikh said that Raees Mama has confessed to the crimes in his statement- recorded under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure- and so have the accused nominated in the case.

Concluding the hearing, the court rejected the bail pleas of the accused. Earlier, an anti-terrorism court too had rejected their bail pleas.

Curious case of expired medicines

According to police, the accused killed Zar Khan and injured three others in Qayyumabad in 2011.

Verdict upheld

Meanwhile, another two-member bench, comprising Justice KK Agha and Justice Zulfiqar Ali Sangi, rejected the plea filed against the sentence awarded to Rasheed alias Doctor, who is convicted of possessing illegal weapons.

Announcing the verdict on the plea, the court upheld the trial court's verdict of sentencing Rasheed to 10 years of imprisonment. The verdict by the trial court was announced in 2017.

Rasheed is a member of MQM-L and a case against him was registered at Risala Police Station.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2019.


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