SUKKUR: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday reinstated PPP leaders Faryal Talpur and Gyan Chand Asrani’s provincial assembly memberships while regretting the threats it had received over their suspension.
The two had earlier been suspended over increasing dog bite cases within their constituencies.
The court today expressed its anger over being threatened for the decision.
“The provincial ministers wanted to influence the case by threatening us. One minister said the judge would be [targeted with] a rocket launcher,” the presiding judge, Justice Aftab, remarked in court.
“We are not answerable to the Sindh government — so stop threatening us with the suspension of our salaries,” the court said.
Talking to the media following the hearing, the MPAs’ lawyer, Farooq H. Naik, said he had apologised to Justice Aftab for the threats.
The SHC’s Sukkur Bench has been hearing a petition seeking the suspension of the two lawmakers over rising dog-bite cases in their constituency.
In the hearing today, the defendants’ lawyer argued that the MPAs were not responsible for dog bites in their constituencies — this was the job of the local government.
The court subsequently ordered the secretary, local government to issue a written statement taking responsibility for dog-bite incidents.
It also ordered the Sindh government to compensate the heirs of those killed by dog bites.
Further, “if someone loses an eye or suffers an injury, the Sindh government will compensate them. We will take action against the officers who fail to discharge this duty,” it added.
After completion of the arguments, the court reinstated the membership of the suspended lawmakers.
The suspension of the two lawmakers had earlier drawn reactions from both the federal and provincial governments, with the Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry saying the court’s move was in “clear violation of the Constitution.”
The SHC had on March 18 suspended the membership of two PPP lawmakers. The court, in its written order, had directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to suspend the memberships of the MPAs from Ratodero and Jamshoro.
“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 […] Taluka and district. In such a situation, the membership of MPAs elected from Ratodero and Jamshoro is hereby suspended,” read the order.
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.