Sunday Mar 21, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday sided with the Sindh government over the suspension of two PPP MPAs due to the increasing number of dog-bite incidents in their constituencies.
On Thursday, March 18, the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) Sukkur Bench suspended the membership of PPP lawmakers Faryal Talpur and Malik Asad Sikander from the provincial assembly.
Taking to Twitter, Fawad Chaudhry said that such court decisions are in "clear violation of the Constitution. Judicial reform, especially the system of appointment of judges, requires immediate attention," he wrote.
"The Opposition should play its role in the government's reform programme. The people of Pakistan want improvement in the system. After the postponement of the [Pakistan Democratic Movement's] long march, there is a chance for the Opposition to [work towards reforms]."
The SHC, in its written order, directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to suspend the memberships of the Members of Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Ratodero and Jamshoro. Talpur and Asad were the MPAs elected from those two areas.
“The dog bite cases are increasing rapidly day-by-day, which shows that all the MPAs being elected have failed to provide facilities to the poor people of their constituencies, especially, in aforesaid pointed out Taluka and district. In such a situation, the membership of MPAs elected from Rata dero and Jamshoro is hereby suspended," read the order.
The bench directed that the copy of the order be sent to the provincial election commissioner to issue a notification regarding the suspension of membership of the MPAs.
Apart from the two, the bench also warned that membership of other lawmakers could be suspended if they do not supervise the ongoing drive against dog bites.
“Remaining members of the provincial assembly are once again directed to supervise the ongoing drive against dog bite cases and ensure that in future no dog bite case happens and if any case of a dog bite is reported, the member of the provincial assembly of that constituency shall be held responsible and their membership may be suspended,” read the order.
The bench also berated the Sindh Assembly secretary for not complying with court orders. It directed the official to explain the non-compliance of court orders.
Last month, the bench had ruled that if any person is bitten by a dog, the membership of the respective MPA elected from that area will be suspended.
The court's remarks came during the hearing of a case related to stray dogs biting people in the province. In response, the judges presiding over the case gave "strong remarks".
Responding to the judge, the public prosecutor said that MPAs have nothing to do with the incidents of dog bites, to which the judge said they knew to whom the respective officers paid commissions — and that the MPA must ensure people's safety.