Lahore High Court on Tuesday took notice of the ‘casual attitude’ of the bureaucracy towards the rehabilitation of drug addicts, and summoned the Excise and Taxation secretary and Anti Narcotics Force Punjab’s director for April 30 (today).
Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan was hearing a petition submitted by Rida Qazi seeking the registration of drug addicts and the establishment of rehabilitation centres under the Control of Narcotics Substances Act, 1997.
At the last hearing, the judge had sought detailed reports on the treatment of drug addicts and data regarding the total number of addicts in Punjab, the number of addicts treated by public health care facilities, private clinics and the NGOs. A deputy attorney general assured the court that the orders would be complied with, in letter and spirit. However, the court did not receive a report and the law officer was not in court on Tuesday. Justice Khan expressed displeasure at the absence. He sent a notice to the attorney general’s office to comply with the orders or the court would initiate contempt proceedings against them.
The judge said the authorities were paying little attention towards court directions. He said that earlier, the reply filed by the interior ministry, after repeated directions, was entirely mechanical and lacked answers to the queries raised. The judge said such casual attitude was contemptuous.
He directed the ministry to submit a comprehensive reply, or the court would summon the interior minister and the interior secretary. The judge then adjourned hearing till April 30.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2014.
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