SHC asks govt to ensure smooth running of hepatitis centers

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed on Wednesday the provincial health secretary to ensure the smooth and proper running of the hepatitis centers and clinics across Sindh province.

A division bench required him to ensure that no complaint against the hepatitis program is received from any quarter. It adjourned the hearing till January 13 when he will submit compliance report on the court order.

The issue involving closure of the hepatitis centers and clinics in the province and shortage of medicines and injections was raised during the hearing of a petition calling for action against alleged corruption and malpractices in medico-legal system and non-implementation of medico-legal procedures.

Subsequently, the division bench while observing that several complaints against functioning hepatitis centers and clinics were coming up, had sought report from the provincial authorities and district and sessions judges about the functioning the centers and clinics in their respective jurisdictions.

On Wednesday, the judges submitted their respective reports through SHC registrar and highlighted irregularities in functioning of the hepatitis program.

Earlier, Zia Ahmed Awan, Counsel for the petitioner had submitted in the petition that medico-legal officers (MLOs) and police surgeons commit grave criminal negligence in performing their legal duties which causes too much hardship for victims of abuse and violence especially women and children and deprive them of justice.

He said that there was proper medico-legal procedure and health department time and again issued directions for medico-legal examination to facilitate and provide services for destitute women and children but such procedures are not followed by MLOs which add to the miseries of victims. Besides, the mismanagement and corruption in the system contributed to their sufferings.

The court was pleaded to order provincial government to establish forensic laboratory and provide facility of DNA test for citizens of Sindh province in order to save scientific evidences for promoting justice and equity. It was also requested to direct the authorities to take action against alleged corruption and malpractices in medico-legal system.

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