The Sindh High Court has summoned the Sindh chief secretary in his personal capacity in a plea pertaining to elderly persons not being given 25 per cent concession on medical services, as stated under the Senior Citizens Welfare Act, 2014.
A two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito, heard the plea on Wednesday, with Justice Mazhar observing that while "Many laws have been formulated, not a single one has been implemented."
"It has been seven years since the Senior Citizens Welfare Act was passed," he added.
Under the law, senior citizens were to be issued Azadi Cards to avail special discounts on healthcare, travel, cinemas and other services in Sindh.
Addressing the Social Welfare Department secretary, the court expressed annoyance over delays in the issuance of Azadi Cards.
The secretary told the court that his department needed more time for the issuance of cards as the department's officials had to meet National Database and Registration Authority officials on the matter.
At that, Justice Mazhar remarked the court would have to summon the provincial chief secretary or else any progress on the matter was unlikely.
The court directed the Sindh chief secretary to appear at the next hearing on May 5 in his personal capacity.
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Meanwhile, a bench comprising Justice Adnanul Karim Memon and Justice Adnan Iqbal Chaudhry issued notices to the Sindh Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah and other parties, seeking their replies on a plea challenging the appointment of Suleman Chandio as his adviser.
The petitioner, Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, told the court that Nasir had issued the notification for Chandio's appointment on his own, even when the local government minister did not have the authority to appoint advisers on his own.
He claimed that Chandio had also started heading Karachi Water and Sewerage Board meetings.
At that, the court issued notices to Nasir, the Sindh government and other relevant authorities, directing them to submit their replies on the plea by May 20.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2021.
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