SHC orders surprise visits to Sindh orphanages to ascertain basic facilities being provided to inmates

Published May 5, 2021
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar also directed the secretary to file a compliance report till May 27. — AFP/File
A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar also directed the secretary to file a compliance report till May 27. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the social welfare secretary to arrange surprise visits to all orphanages across the province in order to determine actual position about maintaining all beneficial conditions and basic facilities for inmates.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar also directed the secretary to file a compliance report till May 27.

On the last hearing, the bench had asked the secretary for inspection of all registered orphanages in the province and called a report about action taken against unregistered orphanages.

When the bench took up for hearing a petition seeking proper compliance under the Sindh Orphanages (Supervision and Control) Act, 1976 and the Sindh Darul Atfal (Supervision and Control) Rules 1987, the social welfare secretary, Abdul Wahab Shaikh, filed a compliance report.

Three more suspects get bail in ‘blackmailed’ woman’s suicide case

He stated in his report that all the additional directors-social welfare were directed to carry out inspections of orphanages/Darul Atfal registered under the act and notices were issued and published in newspapers for unregistered orphanages to get them registered.

The report further said that 25 orphanages were registered in Sindh, three were under the process of registration, four closed by their owners and seven orphanages/sweet homes belonged to the Pakistan Baitul Maal while one orphanage was under construction.

Five orphanages including Edhi Shelter Home for Girls, Bilquees Edhi, Edhi Children Home Super Highway, Karachi Council for Child Welfare and Sirat-ul-Jannah had not applied for registration despite repeated notices and correspondence.

The bench directed the assistant attorney general to provide the copy of the compliance report and three volumes with regard to the inspection report and other relevant documents to the lawyer for the petitioner during the course of the day so that he may examine the same and assist the court on the next date.

The social welfare secretary stated that inspection was carried out after due notice and according to him the overall condition was found good.

At this juncture, the bench directed him to arrange some surprise visits to all orphanages in accordance with Section 23 of the Act without notice so that actual position could come on record whether they were maintaining all beneficial condition for inmates of the orphanage or not with all basic amenities and facilities of life.

It asked that the report of surprise visits of all orphanages mentioned in the compliance report must be submitted on the next date of hearing.

The secretary further submitted that although 25 orphanages had been registered and notices had been issued to some unregistered orphanages to apply and approach for the registration and if they failed to do so action would be taken against them in terms of Section 25 of the act.

‘Blackmailed’ woman’s suicide case

A sessions court has granted bail to three suspects involved in a case pertaining to blackmailing and harassing a married woman who later committed suicide in Shadman Town.

Police booked and arrested six men — Syed Irtiza Raza Rizvi, Waqas, Mohammad Amir, Shahid, Farhad and Asad — following the April 7 suicide of the 41-year-old woman allegedly due to blackmailing and harassment.

The suspects including Mohammad Amir and Waqas jointly moved an application before Additional District and Sessions Judge (central) Liaqat Ali Khoso, seeking grant of post-arrest bail to them.

Their counsel stated that the applicants were behind bars for around three weeks, but the investigating officer had failed to claim any breakthrough regarding collection of the evidence to connect them with the alleged offence. Therefore, he pleaded to the court to admit the applicants to bail after arrest.

To a court’s query regarding progress in the investigation, the IO submitted that no data was found from the mobile phones of the victim and the suspects, as forensic experts had expressed their inability to retrieve the data from the devices.

After hearing arguments, the judge granted the post-arrest bail to the applicants against a surety of Rs100,000 each.

However, the court directed them to cooperate with the police during the investigation.

Earlier, the same court had granted the post-arrest bail to suspect Rizvi against a surety of Rs100,000.

According to the FIR, the complainant, a brother of the deceased, claimed that his sister committed suicide because she was fed up with the “blackmailing, harassment and threats” of the nominated suspects.

He also presented three audio messages of his sister to this effect, which she had sent to her female friend.

A case was registered under Section 322 (manslaughter) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Shahrah-i-Noor Jehan police station.

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2021


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