SHC irked at failure to appoint DRAP chairperson

Gives edu dept 3 days to implement judicial orders on school principals regularisation

Our Correspondent May 26, 2021


The Sindh High Court expressed annoyance on Tuesday over the failure to appointment a chairperson for the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Amjad Ali, directed the relevant authorities to appoint a chairperson for DRAP. Hearing a plea filed against DRAP's failure to fix the price for the typhoid vaccine, the bench expressed annoyance over the failure to appoint a chairperson for the regulatory authority.

The court was informed by DRAP's counsel that an advertisement has been published in this regard.

The bench directed the authority to fix the price for the typhoid vaccine and appoint a chairperson. DRAP was given till August 18 to submit its reply.

Read: Contempt notices issued to DRAP head, others

Regularising school principals

Separately, the same bench directed the provincial education department to implement court orders related to regularising school principals who passed the Institute of Business Administration Sukkur tests.

The court said these orders must be implemented within three days. The bench was hearing a contempt petition against the failure to regularise the principals despite court orders.

The petitioner held that IBA had a standard equal to the Sindh Public Service Commission. He questioned why the school principals were being compelled to appear for another test when they had already assed the IBA's one.

The assistant advocate general maintained that the case was put before the provincial cabinet.

"It's just to annoy the people and delay the cases," remarked Justice Mazhar.

'First they said that the Sindh chief minister has given the approval for the regularisation. Now, they say an approval is needed from the cabinet," he added.

The court remarked that the Sindh CM or provincial chief secretary needed to be summoned to the court.

Moved by the assistant advocate general, the court granted a three-day extension to the chief secretary to implement the judicial order.

A total of 958 school principals had been appointed after passing the IBA test. A two-member bench of the SHC had directed the relevant authorities to regularise all the principals.

PM's expenses

In another case, the same bench directed a petitioner to prepare arguments on a plea seeking details of the official allowances and privileges of Prime Minister Imran Khan from 2013 to 2018.

The 75-year-old petitioner, Sher Muhammad Chishti, maintained that he wants to know the number of National Assembly sessions attended by PM Khan, the amount of money collected by him on account of official allowances and his salary per month or in each NA session during the period from 2013 to 2018. He claims that he has been writing to NA speaker and chief information commissioner, but his letters aren't being responded to.

He argued before the court that as a citizen of Pakistan, he has the right to seek information about PM Khan under the Right to Information Act.

Justice Mazhar inquired about the information which the petitioner seeks.

The petitioner maintained that he seeks the details of allowances and privileges given to PM Khan.

The court remarked that the petitioner's arguments were under prepared.

It said that he should seek the guidance of a qualified legal counsel.

Read more: DRAP okays emergency use of Sinopharm shots for people above 60

Bail extended

Meanwhile, another bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Justice Shamsuddin Abbasi, directed former provincial minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar to appear at the next hearing of the graft inquiry against him.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor informed the court that the inquiry pertaining assets beyond means has been completed and the case has been forwarded to the bureau's headquarters for approval before a reference is filed.

The prosecutor requested an extension for the submission of the progress report.

Meanwhile, the defence counsel requested the court to exempt Lanjar from appearing before it as he was unwell.

The court extended Lanjar's interim bail till July 3 and directed the former minister to appear at the next hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2021.