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January 13, 2015

SHC seeks comments from PMDC, health dept


January 13, 2015

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday directed the provincial government, Pakistan Dental and Medical Council, health secretary and other officials to file comments on a petition seeking action against illegal medical practitioners.
The court was hearing a petition filed against illegal medical practitioners and the sale of addictive substances.
The petitioner, Rana Faiz-ul-Hasan, said thousands of quacks were working in the province but the government was taking no action against them. He stated that though the Sindh Healthcare Commission Bill had been tabled and approved by the provincial assembly last year, no steps had yet been taken to prevent people from being hoodwinked by illegal medical practitioners.
Referring to a report presented before the Karachi Commissioner, the petitioner said that more than 600,000 fake doctors were operating across the country with over 60,000 of them in Karachi alone.
He said the commissioner had formed a taskforce to take action against quacks but so far nothing had been done. He requested the court to direct the authorities to take action against all illegal medical practitioners in Sindh and submit reports regarding the action taken to control activities of quacks.
The provincial law officer sought time to file comments on behalf of the government with regards to implementation of the healthcare law.
At the end of the hearing, the division bench headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi granted two weeks to the Sindh Attorney General, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council and health secretary to file their comments.

Public hangings
Hearing a separate application by the same petitioner, the SHC directed Hasan to satisfy the court on the maintainability of a petition seeking public hanging of terrorists.
In his application, the petitioner sought the security of prisons, public hanging of terrorists and de-weaponisation of Karachi.
Expressing concern over the construction of

high-rise buildings around the Karachi Central Jail, he stated that construction of high-rise buildings had been allowed near the facility and they could be used for terrorism-related activities following the government’s decision to hang death-row convicts.
Hasan said terrorists could attempt another jail break in retaliation of the lifting of moratorium on capital punishment and this was why all high-rise buildings situated near the Central Jail should be sealed or demolished.
He also requested the court to direct the government to announce public hanging of convicts involved in terrorist activities, beside recovering illegal weapons and clearing the city of them.
In his response, additional advocate general Adnan Karim submitted the details of death-row convicts incarcerated in prisons of Sindh.
He said as many as 382 appeals of death-row convicts were pending in the SHC and the Federal Shariat Court for confirmation while 53 more were pending in the Supreme Court. Mercy petitions of 21 death-row convicts were pending before the President. The provincial law officer said public hangings were not permissible under law.
The court then directed the petitioner to satisfy the court about the maintainability of his petition with regard to public execution of terrorists before adjourning the hearing.

Kidnappers’ appeal
The SHC admitted for hearing the appeals of two convicts against death and life imprisonment punishments in kidnapping and murder case.
Munir had been sentenced to death while his accomplice Jalal was awarded life imprisonment by an anti-terrorism court after they were found guilty of kidnapping a seven-year-old boy for ransom and then killing him in cold blood.
According to the prosecution, the appellants kidnapped Sohail on October 31, 2012, from Gabol Town area and demanded Rs20 million for his release. However, they later killed the boy when they did not get the money.
The appellants claimed in their appeals that they had been falsely implicated in the case and requested the court to set aside the conviction. The SHC division bench headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah allowed hearing of the appeals and also issued a notice to the Sindh Prosecutor General.

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