Karachi: One-man Water Commission headed by Justice Iqbal Kalhoro of Sindh High Court on Saturday reserved its order over the jurisdiction of the commission to issue contempt of court notices to government officials after hearing arguments of Advocate General Sindh Zamir Ghumru and petitioner’s counsel Shahab Osto. The commission had issued notices to Chief Secretary and other government officials over non-compliance of the Commission’s instructions. AG Sindh has challenged the jurisdiction of the commission to issue contempt notice to the government officials.Advancing arguments on the point, AG Sindh Gumru said that the Commission was constituted on the order of the Supreme Court. He argued that the power and jurisdiction of the Commission were limited and submitted that the commission’s main task or job was to get the Supreme Court orders implemented and intimate the apex court about progress on implementation. He argued that the commission had no powers and jurisdiction to issue contempt notices. He added that SC and high courts had powers to issue contempt notices and initiate proceedings, however, a commission constituted under the orders of the SC could not initiate contempt proceedings.He added that the instructions issued during the Commission proceeding would be make part of the final order. He added that as per SC instructions the Task Force was contentiously reporting to the commission. The commission can only collect evidences and submit the same to SC. Upon this Justice Kulhoro remarked that the SC had directed the Commission to get the SC’s instructions complied and implemented fully. “Tell us how the commission would implement the SC orders ad what would be the procedure for it,” he asked the AG Sindh.The AG replied that Supreme Court had come to existence under the constitution and it could not create a new court. Only SC itself can take action on non-compliance of its orders.Petitioner’s counsel Shahab Osto while advancing arguments said that the AG was bound to give right advice to Sindh government. The contempt notices had been issued to the officials in their personal capacity. The officials had not complied the orders and were issued contempt notices. The issue was between the court and the persons who allegedly committed contempt and AG Sindh cannot represent them or plead their case.If the orders were not complied then the commission had power to initiate contempt proceeding. Opposing the AG Sindh’s arguments he said that the commission was not a mere a post office rather it has powers to get its orders implemented. Attempts were being made to protect and hide corruption amounting to billions of rupees. On defiance of its orders what the commission can do except issuing contempt notices.The AG said that there was no justification to raise objections on his arguments. He added that he was assisting the commission.After hearing the arguments, the judge reserved his order which will be announced on Sep 9, 2017.In response to the notice of the commission, Dr Siraj Ahmed Abbasi, Director LINAR Cancer Hospital Larkana, appeared before the commission and informed it that new incinerators to dispose of infectious wastes had been purchased and would be installed within 10 t0 15 days.Dr Shahid Iqbal, Direcotr NIMRA Jamshoro informed the commission that at presently they were disposing of their nuclear and other waste through the incinerators installed in Liaqat University Hospital, Jamshoro.However, he assured that within a short time they would purchase their own incinerator.The commission tasked Dr Ghulam Murtaza, a member of Task Force, to visit federally-administered hospitals in Sindh to check quality of drinking water being provided there and after verifying samples submit report to the commission within 15 days.Dr Saeed Ahmed Qureshi, Focal Persons to Chief Secretary Sindh, submitted that he would be submitting the final report to the commission for implementing Master Plan to plug the points discharging untreated municipal and other infectious effluents into waters bodies in the province.HESCO representative Saeed Ahmed Dawanch and SEPCO’s Pervaz Afzal also appeared before the commission and said that the respective power utilities had provided electricity connections to all water and drainage related schemes as per list provided by the PHED. “But on 10 schemes, there is a dispute between the department concerned and local people, the HESCO could not energize their connection, he added.Secretary Industries submitted before the commission that they had finalized a list categorizing the industries into different classes according to level and volume of effluents they were producing. He told the commission that within due time all such units would be notified followed by an action to control such effluentThe commission took note of non-submission of progress report on tabling the proposed law for regulating water hydrants in Karachi and other areas of the province. Assistant Advocate General Mustafa Mahesar told the commission the proposed draft law had been submitted to Secretary Law for final deliberations.The commission directed the AAG to appraise it on next date of hearing about the reasons as to why the said law was not tabled in the Assembly as yet despite specific orders and instructions.Secretary Health Sindh submitted a report regarding supply of clean drinking water and management of hospital waste in the hospitals of the provinces. In his report, he said that the process to purchase incinerators was going on and it would be finalized soon.The commission adjourned further proceeding till September 9, 2017.The one-man commission comprising Justice Iqbal Kulhoro of Sindh High Court was constituted by Supreme Court of Pakistan for implementation of its judgment over a petition on quality of drinking water in Sindh. Published in Daily Times, August 27th 2017.