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September 24, 2019

KMC, commissioner put on notice on petition against increase in milk price


September 24, 2019

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued notices to the chief secretary, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and others on an application seeking the implementation of court orders with regard to sale of milk on government notified rates.

Petitioner Imran Shahzad submitted in the application that the SHC had disposed of the petitions with regard to fixation of milk prices in March 2018, following a settlement reached with consent of all the stakeholders, according to which milk was to be sold at Rs94 per litre in the city.

He said the high court had directed the commissioner to issue a notification with regard to the milk price and ensure that milk would be sold in the markets as per its notified price agreed by the stakeholders.

The petitioner submitted that the SHC had ordered the Karachi commissioner to ensure that the quality of milk was checked at every stage of its supply from dairy farms to wholesalers and retailers and in case of any violation of the quality standards, the commissioner had been told to take strict legal action against delinquent persons.

The high court was informed by the petitioner that despite the court order, milk was being sold in the city at an increased rate of Rs120 per litre and the commissioner was not taking action against milk sellers for selling milk at higher rates.

The petitioner requested the SHC to direct the KMC, commissioner and others to implement the court order in letter and spirit. The high court issued notices to the KMC, commissioner and others and called their comments on October 24.

Prisoners’ verification

The prisons authorities told the SHC that a biometric system for the identification of inmates had been functioning at the Karachi Central Jail, and the Malir and Hyderabad prisons.

The response was submitted by the prisons IG on a petition of a non-government organisation that requested constitution of a commission in the case pertaining to the alleged presence of ‘fake prisoners’ in the jails.

The jail authorities submitted that under-trial prisoners were registered under the biometric system. The high court directed a provincial law officer to submit the reply of prison authorities to the petitioner’s counsel for perusal and adjourned the hearing for date to be fixed later.

The court had directed the federal and provincial law officers to file comments in connection with the identity of under-trial prisoners through the biometric system and the verification of their identity through the record of the National Database Registration Authority.

The petitioner, the Ansar Burney Trust International, submitted in the petition that media reports regarding 41 fake prisoners had come to light during a briefing to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the security situation in the province. It was disclosed that at least 41 ‘fake prisoners’ were present inside Sindh’s jails in place of others, allowing the real ones to move freely outside.

The petitioner submitted that it was a shocking report and caused panic among the public at large raising many questions pertaining to the violation of human rights. The SHC was requested to order the constitution of a high profile judicial commission including representatives of human rights organisations for the purpose of visibility and transparency of investigations into the matter.

The SHC was also asked to order strict action against the officials involved in allowing the prisoners to get out of jail. The petitioner requested the release of innocent prisoners and asked the high court to direct the jail authorities to compile the data of all the prisoners who were in prisons without committing any crime.