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Karachi

September 2, 2018

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SC orders compensation for Nawabshah, Thar families

The Supreme Court has directed the Sindh health minister and secretary to hold meetings with parents of children who died due to negligence and lack of medical facilities in Tharparkar and Nawabshah and pay compensation to the affected families.

Hearing a suo motu case regarding the deaths of infants in Mithi and Nawabshah due to malnutrition, diseases and lack of medical care, a three-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday inquired from the Sindh additional chief secretary as to who was responsible for the loss of the children who died due to criminal negligence of doctors by not providing them proper medicines.

Civil society counsel Faisal Siddiqui submitted that the inquiry commission member had submitted its report with regard to improvements by the health department.

The SC directed the health department to submit a reply to the commission’s report. The court asked the health secretary what compensation the government will pay to the affected families whose children died due to negligence of the doctors and hospital staff.

Faisal Siddiqui submitted that the court can pass an order for paying compensation to the aggrieved families as it has been earlier done in the case of the Baldia factory fire in Karachi in which more than 200 workers perished in 2012. However, the CJP observed that the court does not want to pass an order on its whim as the judges are also bound by law.

The top court then directed the health minister and secretary to hold meetings with the parents of the deceased children and pass appropriate order with regard to the payment of monetary compensation to the families after hearing their grievances.

When the court took up the matter of the non-functioning of the Sindh Drug Testing Laboratory, the additional chief secretary submitted that the laboratory was not completely functional due to the lack of funds for purchase of equipments pertaining to testing of injectable medicines.

The additional chief secretary was asked to give a timeframe with regard to completion of the laboratory after consulting with the relevant minster and told to submit a report within one week.

Zulfiqarabad terminal

Separately, the Karachi commissioner was instructed to resolve the pending issues with regard to smooth functioning at the Zulfiqarabad oil tankers terminal.

The top court was hearing a petition filed by Shugafta Bibi, a resident of Clifton Block-1, who had pleaded with the chief justice of Pakistan to order the shifting of the oil tankers’ terminal from her locality (Shireen Jinnah Colony) many years ago. The woman had initially sent a letter to the CJP, which was later converted into a constitutional petition.

The Karachi commissioner told the court the operations and movement of oil tankers were halted at the Zulfiqarabad terminal due to the lack of the offices of oil marketing companies. The court directed the commissioner to remove the bottleneck and submit a report within 15 days with regard to operation of oil tankers.

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