KARACHI: The provincial government on Monday informed the Sindh High Court that a 21-member provincial commission on status of women would be established within two months for the protection of karo-kari victims, as the chief minister had approved its summary early this month.
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar, was conducting proceedings against the chief secretary and others for not complying with a court’s earlier order regarding the commission for the protection of victims of karo-kari.
The bench had earlier issued a show-cause notice to the chief secretary in a contempt of court application for not implementing the order.
The chief secretary appeared before the bench and submitted a detailed reply to the show-cause notice. He said that a summary for the commission under the Status of the Women Act, 2015 had been approved by the chief minister on Aug 5, 2016.
The officer said a committee had also been notified by the Services and General Administration and Coordination Department and applications had been invited for the selection of commission’s chairperson and members.
As for the court’s direction regarding the establishment of safe houses and rescue centres for the female victims at district and taluka level, the chief secretary filed a list of notified safe houses in Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions.
The report said that all divisional commissioners had been instructed to utilize funds under the head of “maintenance and repair” for the maintenance of the notified safe houses within their respective jurisdictions.
Advocate General Zamir Ghumro informed the court that shelter houses and rescue centres for the female victims had been established at taluka level in Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad and Hyderabad divisions.
He said funds had also been made for the smooth functioning of these facilities under the supervision of deputy commissioners.
The provincial government’s chief law officer assured the judges that affirmative action would be taken for protecting rights of women.
He informed the court that strict action would be taken against the area police officials in case jirga took place in their respective jurisdictions.
Referring to the list of the safe houses and rescue centres in Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad and Hyderabad divisions, he said safe houses were set up in Sukkur, New Sukkur, Rohri, Pano Akil, Saleh Pat, Khangarh, Ghotki, Mirpur Mathelo, Dharki, Ubauro, Kotdiji, Sobhodero, Nara, Khairpur, Kingri, Chambat, Tharimirwah, Larkana, Kamber, Shikarpur, Kashmore/Kandhkot, Jacobabad, Nawabshah, Dur, Sakrand, Qazi Ahmed, Naushahro Feroze, Moro, Kandiaro, Bhirya, Mehrabpur, Sanghar, Tando Adam, Jam Nawaz Ali, Shahdadpur, Khipro, Sinjhoro, Thatta, Hyderabad, Dadu, Badin, Jamshoro, Tando Allahyar, Sujawal, Tando M. Khan and Matiari.
The AG said that the rescue centres had been established at the offices of different SSPs and police stations.
He said that the provincial government had decided to establish standardized safe houses in all talukas of Sukkur, Larkana, Shaheed Benazirabad divisions and all district headquarters of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas divisions.
The AG said that the proposed standardized shelter homes would have a covered area of 400 square yards with four residential rooms with attached bathrooms.
The bench vacated the show-cause notice served upon the chief secretary after perusing his reply and hearing AG’s submissions.
The bench put off the hearing to a date to be later pronounced by the court’s office.