SC orders urgent acquisition of new equipment, staff for Sindh chemical lab

Updated October 21, 2019

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KU professor informs court that Sindh chemical lab is equipped with outdated equipment and needs to be revamped. — AFP/File
KU professor informs court that Sindh chemical lab is equipped with outdated equipment and needs to be revamped. — AFP/File

KARACHI: A Supreme Court judge has directed the provincial authorities to get new equipment and hire staff for the chemical laboratory of Sindh on an urgent basis after he was informed about the pathetic condition of the lab, it emerged on Sunday.

The direction was issued during a meeting, headed by Justice Faisal Arab of the SC, regarding monitoring of antiterrorism courts recently held at the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry. It was also attended by justices Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro and Omar Sial of the Sindh High Court, home secretary Kabir Kazi, Sindh prosecutor general Dr Faiz Shah, Prof Iqbal Chaudhry of Karachi University and others.

According to the minutes of the meeting, after paying a surprise visit to the chemical laboratory, the prosecutor general informed the meeting about the pathetic condition of the laboratory and submitted a report about his visit.

Justice Arab directed him to share the report with the provincial secretaries for home and health so that necessary steps could be taken in that regard.

Prof Chaudhry, the head of the International Centre for Chemical & Biological Sciences at the KU, said that the laboratory was equipped with outdated equipment and it needed to be revamped.

He further informed the meeting that, pursuant to the request of the health department to help in tending the process for purchase of equipment and selection of staff, they had selected most essential and modern equipment. Costing around Rs80 million, tender had already been issued for the equipment, which would be purchased as soon as the funds were released, he said, adding that interviews for new staff had also been conducted.

Justice Arab directed the home secretary to bring the matter to the knowledge of the chief secretary so that the process of getting new equipment and hiring staff be completed on an urgent basis.

He asked Prof Chaudhry to file a report within three weeks, adding that if the home secretary and Prof Chaudhry felt any hindrance, the same be brought to the knowledge of his forum.

Malkhana issue

The issue of Malkhana in Karachi also came under discussion and the home secretary informed the meeting that as for the Malkhana at the City Courts, PC-I had been prepared and all the requisite work completed, but the site had not been handed over to them.

It was noted that the issue was lingering as a committee comprising the then prosecutor general Ayaz Tunio and Abdul Razzaq, MIT-II, of the SHC was constituted in May to sort out the issue. Incumbent prosecutor Dr Shah had been made part of the committee which would identify the location.

Justice Arab directed the committee to expedite the matter and submit a report to him within four weeks.

The meeting was also informed that a DNA laboratory in Karachi University had been established.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019