The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the secretaries of health and origin for comments on a petition seeking strict implementation of smoke-free laws.
Javaid Khan, consultant pulmonologist at the University Aga Khan, had argued that the use of snuff is the leading preventable cause of various diseases, disabilities and deaths in the country. An estimated 100,000 people die every year in the country as a result of the consumption of snuff. The snuff kills more people in Pakistan deaths from suicides, explosions, accidents, honor killings and abuse of drugs combined.
The petitioner claims that the smoking ban and the protection of the Health Act non smoking was adopted in 2002, in which smoking is prohibited in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, cafes. Advertising restrictions were imposed snuff and in its sale to minors.
In addition, a resolution against smoking shisha was also adopted by the Assembly of Sindh in 2011, he added.
Javed said that despite claims commissioner Karachi regarding province-wide ban on shisha, hundreds of restaurants continued to spread the terrible addiction, destroying the health of young Pakistanis.
The complainant alleged that after the 18th amendment health had become a provincial subject and the high court should consider an important public health problem such.
Drug pricing case
The court gave additional time for federal secretary of Health and Drug Regulatory Authority to complete the process of pricing of medicines.
The direction came on a petition of the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PMMA) and others who assaulted withdrawal of increasing drug prices by the federal government.
The petitioners alleged that the Drug Regulatory Authority after discussions with all interested parties issued a notification on 27 November 2013 by which drug sales prices were fixed 15 percent above the price set under the notification issued on February 12, 2002.
They said it was specifically mentioned that any increase in prices since December 11, 2001 shall conform to calculate the 15 percent increase in the notification.
They later claimed that the notification was withdrawn in the Directive by the Prime Minister on November 29, which was arbitrary and without giving opportunity of hearing to the petitioners.
The court had on May 22 directed the DRA prices Director to finalize the pricing of drugs after the meeting with stakeholders and approval of the Prime Minister.
The health secretary had requested more time to submit the compliance report as a result of the summary sent to the Prime Minister for approval expected.
The court then granted time to the health secretary to submit the compliance report extended the interim injunction on the reporting of government in relation to the withdrawal of rising drug prices until the next date of hearing.
The court has restricted the Karachi Metropolitan Company of deforestation in various ways to install billboards.
SHC bench was hearing a petition against cutting trees in different streets of the city.
The plaintiff's lawyer had argued that KMC was misusing his powers and licensing of advertising billboards along the roadsides by cutting trees in different areas of the city .
The court was asked to prevent KMC from cutting trees on roads and sidewalks for the purpose of installing billboards.
The court also issued notices to the KMC, the provincial law officer and others to submit comments to the petition.