LHC again orders govt to furnish reports on measles
10 October, 2013
LAHORE: Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday expressed his displeasure over delay in submission of two reports on measles and ordered for their production within three days.
Justice Mehmood Khan had ordered submission of report of the inquiry conducted by Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal of Sheikh Zayed Hospital who was appointed by the LHC, and Prof Dr Faisal Masood of the King Edward Medical College who had been appointed by the Punjab chief minister. An additional advocate general told the court that the reports were lying with the chief minister, on which Justice Khan remarked that the people were dying of measles and the chief minister is untouched by the tragedy and sitting with the report.
The judge noted that the chief minister takes his salary from the national exchequer, and the welfare of the nation was his prime duty. He ordered that the reports be presented before the court within three days and postponed the hearing until October 14 on a petition against failure of the Punjab government to control deaths by measles and to establish a permanent authority to control the spread of such diseases.
Judicial Activism Panel (JAP) Chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed the petition, submitting that the Punjab in particular and rest of the areas in Pakistan in generally have been caught by measles, which is an acute, infectious and communicable viral disease causing deaths of a number of children. He said that such a disease occurs mostly amongst children and is preventable if precautionary measures are taken by the authority concerned before its outbreak.
The JAP chairman said that it was the responsibility of the state to provide the best possible health facilities to the citizens, and particularly to the children. He submitted that in the present case, it was an open failure on part of the state machinery. He further said that the federal and provincial governments had miserably failed to control the measles outbreak, which has resulted into the loss of innocent lives.
Siddiqui said that the government authorities had not taken protective measures to control the outbreak, and the vaccine of measles was also not available in the province. He requested that the respondents federal and Punjab governments be directed to control the frequent outbreak of the measles on war footing. He also requested that respondents should be directed to give a detailed and comprehensive report for the purpose of fixing responsibility on the culprits.