KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday directed the secretary of the social welfare department to order inspection of all registered orphanages in the province and examine the facilities available for the children therein.
The two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar further asked the secretary to come up with a report on May 4 about action taken against unregistered orphanages.
When the bench took up a petition seeking proper compliance under the Sindh Orphanages (Supervision and Control) Act, 1976 and the Sindh Darul Atfal (Supervision and Control) Rules 1987 for hearing, secretary of social welfare department Abdul Wahab Shaikh filed a reply.
The bench asked him how many orphanages were operating in Sindh. He replied that there were 43 orphanages in the province out of which seven were being operated under the control of the federal government.
He further submitted that 17 orphanages have been registered and for the rest he will file a progress report at next hearing.
The bench directed the secretary to apprise it whether the remaining orphanages had applied for registration and what action had been taken against them if they were in default of the law.
43 orphanages in the province, official tells court
The secretary undertook that notices would be issued to such orphanages and public notice will also be published in all vernacular newspapers inviting applications for registration of orphanages.
It also directed the secretary to file another progress report on next hearing about the inspection that should be carried out by officers concerned of the social welfare department to all registered orphanages and they will also highlight the features and facilities available to children for the consideration of the bench.
Notification of census
The same bench also sought a notification about final results of census-2017 after it was informed that the same was approved by the Council of Common Interests.
At the outset of the hearing, joint secretary of ministry of inter-provincial coordination Dr Mir Aijaz Talpur submitted that the CCI had approved the final result of census.
Assistant attorney general Hussain Bohra also informed the bench that though the CCI had approved the result on April 12, it would take 29 days for notification and requested time.
While adjourning the hearing on the petition filed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan for four weeks, the bench sought the copy of the notification on next hearing.
Initially, the MQM had approached the SHC and challenged the constitution of committees for delimitation of local government jurisdictions in the province and contended that according to the Elections Act, 2017, the exercise of delimitation could not be carried out unless the final results of the population census were officially published. Later some other petitions were also filed on identical grounds.
Plea about ATR crash
The bench also issued notices to the Civil Aviation Authority, Pakistan International Airlines and others for May 26 on an application of a former official of the national flag carrier to become intervener in a petition regarding an ATR aircraft crash in 2016.
The petitioner Iqbal Kazmi sent an application for adjournment and contended that he was seriously ill and cannot come to argue while his written augments were already on record and may be considered.
The lawyer for CAA submitted a report in compliance with last order of the bench about the policy for issuing airworthiness certificates.
The CAA contended in the report that annual certificates of airworthiness inspections were carried out by the CAA airworthiness inspectors.
The inspection included an in-depth review of the maintenance carried out on the aircraft during the preceding time period to ensure that all required checks had been completed and a thorough physical inspection of the aircraft and anomalies identified during it were conveyed to the operator so that they could be addressed, it maintained.
The former deputy chief engineer PIA, Khalid Mumtaz, moved an application to become an intervener in the proceedings and contended that he was part of a meeting held in 2014 at the office director airworthiness regarding propeller blade, AD overfly and unauthorised repair of the crashed ATR by PIA.
Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2021