Sindh govt earns court’s ire over stray dogs

SHC seeks progress, implementation reports, action plan for Rabies Control Programme

Our Correspondent November 12, 2020
Sindh High Court building. PHOTO: EXPRESS


The Sindh High Court has given the provincial government until December 2, to submit an action plan against stray dogs in the city, while hearing a petition pertaining to the growing population of stray dogs in Karachi and the shortage of vaccines.

Irked at the provincial government, the two-member bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, asked for the action plan of the Rabies Control Programme and a time-frame for implementation, as well a report on progress on the PC-1 thus far.

Petitioner Tariq Mansoor maintained before the court that six months had passed but the PC-1 had not been implemented. They have not made an action plan as yet either, he argued, seeking action against negligent officials.

The assistant advocate-general, whoever, told the court that the taskforce had begun work.

At this, the court remarked that the provincial government was only making verbal claims but had not submitted an action plan as yet.

The assistant advocate-general insisted that every directive of the court had been implemented. But the court asked when the work would actually begin, adding that the authorities should inform the court once it did.

The court asked the government lawyer to present results and not mere statements. When told by the government lawyer that action was being taken against negligent officers, the court again urged action on the actual work and for cases of the dog bites to be curbed.

Directing the provincial government to submit reports on implementation and progress, the court adjourned the hearing.

CNG kits in vehicles

The same bench sought a report from the provincial government on CNG kits in school vans and public transport vehicles and fitness certificates. The bench was hearing a petition pertaining to installation of substandard CNG kits in these vehicles.

The Sindh transport department's focal person claimed that CNG kits were not permitted in school vans.

The court sought a written report from the provincial government detailing the complete mechanism to inspect and approve CNG kits and adjourned the hearing till December 8.

Missing persons

Meanwhile, the SHC sought a progress report on the recovery of missing persons while hearing eight petitions pertaining to the same.

The hearing was fraught with emotion as the families of missing persons shared their plight before the court.

A two-and-a-half year old child was also among the missing persons whose cases were being heard. His father told the court that his son, Noman, went missing from Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital's outpatient department in 2018. Two years have passed but his child has not been recovered, he said.

Meanwhile, a mother, whose young son has been missing for eight years, broke down before the court.

The families of missing persons pleaded that if there were any charges against their respective loved ones, they should be produced in court and not disappeared.

The court directed the police yet again to recover the missing persons and sought a progress report at the next hearing.

Trans rights

Separately, the court issued notices to the federal human rights secretary and others over a plea seeking contempt of court action for failure to implement the Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act, 2018.

The petitioner's counsel maintained that the law, passed two years ago, was not being implemented. The court had directed that rules and guidelines be made for the legislation, the counsel said.

The court issued notices to the parties, including the federal human rights secretary, and adjourned the hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2020.


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