The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday issued contempt notices to the head of the National Forensic Science Authority (NFSA) and the in-charge of its DNA laboratory over their failure to submit a detailed report on the identification of burnt bodies from the Baldia factory fire.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar also issued a contempt notice to the Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) chairperson for failing to submit a report on the payment of statutory pension to the families of the 259 workers who perished in the country’s worst industrial disaster.
The contempt notices were issued during the hearing of an application filed by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research. In an earlier hearing, the court had directed the EOBI chairperson to file a detailed report stating how many victims’ families are getting pensions and explaining why others were not paid. EOBI authorities had also been told to ensure payment of the statutory pension to all the remaining families without any further delay.
On Friday, the two judges observed that despite clear instructions, neither the DNA laboratory in-charge nor the NFSA project director had filed the requisite report. No report was submitted by the EOBI chairperson either. “It is unfortunate to note that both officials have persistently violated this court’s order. We are therefore constrained to issue a contempt notice to the DNA laboratory in-charge as well as NFSA’s project director,” said CJ Baqar. A contempt notice was also issued to the EOBI chairperson.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2014.