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  SHC take notice of diverting HIV Aids fund to IDPs.

Sindh High Court took exception to seizing the funds, approved by the Planning and Development Department, for the HIV/Aids Control Programme, by the Finance Department.


Hearing the application filed by Human Rights Commission, South Asia, through its Pakistan correspondent Syed Iqbal Kazmi against irregularities in prisons and non-provision of health facilities to inmates, particularly HIV/Aids patients, the court summoned Secretary Finance to justify the policy of provincial government for ceasing HIV/Aids Control Program funds and shifting the same for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs).


“A person/inmate who is suffering from HIV/Aids has been denied the medical treatment in jail by withdrawing the funds allocated for the HIV/Aids Control Program, which is against the fundamental rights,” SHC’s division bench headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim observed.The court was informed that the funds approved by the Planning and Development Department for HIV/Aids Control Program have been ceased by the Finance Department on the ground that the same have been diverted for IDPs. The court observed that IDPs can be rehabilitated but if an inmate who is suffering from HIV/Aids is not provided medical treatment he would lose his life.


The court directed the Health Department to continue HIV/Aids Control Project by providing medical treatment and or screening facility to all inmates in prisons across Sindh. The court also issued notices to Health Secretary and head of Planning and Development Department (Sindh) to appear in person so that the court could pass order after hearing them. After hearing doctors and Chief Medical Officer (Women) Jail, Karachi, the court also directed Secretary Health that the doctors, who have served beyond three years in jail, shall immediately be transferred or repatriated to their parent departments after providing substantive replacement at their place. The court observed that doctors’ stay in jail beyond three years had been creating administrative problems.


The court also put IG Prisons on notice observing that the inmates, who are either under screening or getting treatment of Hepatitis/ HIV/Aids shall not be released unless relevant doctors or organisation were informed in writing through mail, fax or telephone, and the copy of such communication shall be retained by jail authorities. The court directed IG Prisons (Sindh) to keep an entry in the history tickets of inmates, who have been suffering from Hepatitis/ HIV/Aids. However, the court observed that the above directions shall not be misused by jail authorities to withhold compliance of release writ of inmates as the purpose behind such direction is that the inmate, who is being treated in jail for Hepatitis/ HIV/Aids, shall continue his treatment once he is released from jail. The hearing of the case has been adjourned till October 25.