QUETTA: The health and education secretaries of Balochistan faced the ire of Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar as he resumed hearing a suo motu case on various issues of public interest today.
The bench, which is hearing the case at the Supreme Court’s Quetta Registry, includes Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Mansoor Ali.
As the hearing went under way today, Chief Justice Nisar expressed serious displeasure at provincial health secretary Saleh Nasir.
He berated the top health official of the province over the deplorable state of public hospitals as well as the salaries given to young doctors.
Chief Justice Nisar warned Nasir of halting his salary until the province’s doctors are paid their dues. He also lamented that the province pays its doctors Rs24,000 a month whereas a driver of the apex court gets paid Rs35,000.
Later, appearing before the bench, the education secretary informed the court that half of the schools in the province don’t have water, adding that 11,000 toilets were constructed in the province’s schools in the last three years.
The education secretary informed the court further that the government oversees 1,135 primary schools, and admitted on the court’s questioning that these institutes do not have all the required facilities.
During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that the provincial government has failed to provide governance.
The education secretary responded further that a lack of funds restricts improvement in the sector and also blamed the teachers’ union of politicising everything.
The chief justice then instructed him to submit a policy report in 15 days, observing that, “I used to think the situation is Sindh is dire but there is nothing here”.
The hearing was then briefly adjourned after which the chief justice left for a visit to the district courts where he interacted with lawyers and instructed authorities to improve the facilities there.
Addressing the bar members, the chief justice explained that judges have a lot of work and are thus unable to wrap up cases on time, adding that lawyers must cooperate and end the culture of boycotts to ensure swift justice.
He also announced the start of legal reforms in the country.
Hearing the case in the provincial capital yesterday, the chief justice had directed the last two chief ministers of Balochistan — Dr Abdul Malik Baloch and Nawab Sanaullah Zehri — to appear before the Supreme Court to explain what they did for the improvement of governance and welfare of people in the province during their tenures.
Later, the chief justice visited Civil Hospital along with present Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo where he interacted with patients and visited a strike camp of paramedics and young doctors who are protesting against the government.
Justice Nisar ordered authorities to listen to the young doctors’ demands and present a report to him. Following the visit, the protest was called off.
Later in the day, addressing a dinner by the Balochistan Bar Association, the chief justice said suo motu notices had to be taken for petitions were not filed by social figures.
“All measures I have taken were taken in good faith; I have an affiliation with Balochistan,” he said, adding that one should learn about facts before shaping an opinion.
“We will not tolerate any negligence in provision of rights to the people and discharging of duties,” the chief justice added.-Web Desk