KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday expressed concern over an alarming increase in dog-bite cases in the province and directed the Karachi administrator and all municipal commissioners as well as executive officers of cantonment boards across the province to take all necessary measures in their jurisdictions to curb such incidents.
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar also observed that the local government secretary did not file any progress report about framing of by-laws for population control and mass vaccination of street dogs under the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013 and directed him and the administrator Karachi to appear on May 6.
In the last hearing, the provincial authorities had informed the SHC that the draft by-laws for population control and mass vaccination of street dogs was being vetted by the law department and would be placed in the cabinet meeting for approval soon.
When the bench took up a petition about rise in dog-bite incidents in the province and shortage of anti-rabies vaccines at government-run hospitals, the LG secretary sent a compliance report in which certain measures were said to have been taken including inviting tenders about the rabies control programme, procurement committee as well as formation of a complaint redressal committee.
SHC orders inclusion of FIA in the provincial task force on missing children
However, the bench noted that no reply had been submitted about framing of by-laws. An additional advocate general (AAG) requested for time to file a progress report.
The court directed the AAG to call the LG secretary and Karachi administrator on the next hearing.
The bench deplored that the dog-bite incidents were increasing rapidly and the public at large was severely affected and afraid of such incidents, which were also being reported in the print and electronic media.
In order to address such complaints and incidents, the administrator-KMC, all municipal commissioners of district municipal corporations as well as executive officers of cantonment boards in Sindh must take all necessary and appropriate measures in their jurisdiction and also depute a task force to eliminate the menace of dog-bite incidents, which has caused severe harassment and panic amongst the public at large, it added.
The bench further directed all the municipal commissioners and executive officers to submit progress reports through their authorised officers in the next hearing.
Missing children case
Another division bench of SHC on Tuesday expressed resentment over police for not tracing out remaining 14 missing children and ordered that a senior official of the Federal Investigation Agency be made part of the inquiry team to probe the aspect of human smuggling of children.
The bench headed by Justice K.K. Agha observed that the provincial task force (PTF) on missing persons had not considered this matter properly as all the recommendations had already been carried out by the investigating officer of the case, but no progress was made yet.
It directed the home secretary for a fresh session of the PTF in the present matter within one week to discuss it with all relevant officials including the new member to be inducted from FIA for the recovery of children.
While hearing a petition filed in 2012 about missing children, the bench observed that since the last date of hearing, police had not able to trace out any of the remaining missing children.
It directed the police to recover at least two to three missing children before the next hearing.
Earlier, on a directive of the SHC, the police had lodged 23 FIRs regarding missing children at different police stations of the city. Later, nine of them had returned to their homes.
Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021