The Supreme Court issued directives on Tuesday to all provincial governments to take action against the illegal trade of human organs across the country.
The apex court directed the chief secretaries of all provinces to instruct Executive District Officers to conduct surveys on the issue and sought a report on the matter by July 31.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, resumed hearing of identical petitions regarding illegal transplants of human organs, filed by former president supreme court bar association Asma Jehangir, amongst others.
Expressing concern over the delay in legislation to stop illegal human organs trade, the bench hoped that provincial governments would soon devise rules in view of Article 37 and 38 of the Constitution.
According to the petitioners, an intervention by the country’s highest court was necessary as the federal and provincial governments and the Human Organ Transplant Authority had failed to check illegal organ trade as well as kidney transplantation, and no action was taken against the culprits.
Tariq Mahmood, counsel for Jahangir, told the bench that despite clear assurance, the federal and provincial governments had failed to formulate rules to prevent violation of the law in this regard.
During the proceedings, Director General Health Qazi Saboor informed the bench that a rule-making process was ongoing to get rid of the heinous crime of illegal transplantation.
Chief Justice Chaudhry, however, observed that laws are always formed but there is never any implementation. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja also expressed concern over the delay in the formulation of rules and questioned why the government was silent on the issue.
The hearing has been adjourned till August 1.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2012.