Sindh Assembly session – Reuse and sale of disposable syringes declared non-bailable offence

KARACHI:The Sindh Assembly on Wednesday passed the Sindh Regulation and Control of Disposable Syringes Bill- 2010, declaring the reuse and sale of disposable syringes in the province a non-bailable offence and punishing offenders with two-year imprisonment.Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro moved the bill, and Health Minister Dr Saghir Ahmed briefed the members about its salient features. Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro put the bill before the house for voting, and it was passed unanimously.Under the law no, person can manufacture, sell or use disposable syringes other than auto lock, auto destruct or auto break for injection, drawing of blood and other purposes. “If the person contravening the provisions of the Act is a company, every director, manager, secretary or other officer, or agent thereof shall, unless he proves that contravention is made without his knowledge and that he had exercised due diligence to prevent such contravention, be deemed to be guilty of such contravention”, the law stated.Any offender will be punished with imprisonment for a term “which may extend to two years or with a fine which may extend to five hundred thousand rupees or with both”.

In case a person already convicted once is convicted again, the term of imprisonment may extend to three years and fine to Rs 1 million.The health minister told lawmakers that legislation was needed to curb the practice of reusing disposable syringes, which in turn, was causing the increase in communicable deadly diseases such as Hepatitis and Aids among citizens. He said the province has around 2.5 million patients infected with Hepatitis, and that quacks were mostly responsible for reusing disposable syringes. He said that the role of the Sindh Home Department and district administrations will be critical for properly implementing the law.Sindh Culture Minister Sassui Palijo said that legislation would become useless if laws are not implemented, and therefore, steps must be taken for proper implementation of the law. PPP’s Dr Sattar Rajper also emphasised the need for implementation of the law, saying that he has seen three used syringes being used at the same time by a doctor. Sindh Electric Power Minister Shazia Marri said that the importance of the bill could not be downplayed due to apprehensions about implementation on it.Doctors arrested for negligence: Health Minister Dr Saghir Ahmed condemned arrest of two doctors, Dr Zaman and Ahmar Hamid, arguing that there is resentment among the doctors community due to this step.

Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza informed the house that their arrest has been made under court orders. He explained that the court had summoned them in a case pertaining to the death of a patient due to their alleged negligence, but they failed to appear in court.Adjournment motion regarding gas loadshedding rejected: Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro disqualified an adjournment motion moved by the NPP’s Arif Mustafa Jatoi regarding load shedding of natural gas in the Sindh province. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah raised an objection to the motion, saying that it was out of order, and the matter is also sub judice.Jatoi was of the opinion that there should be no load shedding of natural gas in Sindh as the province produces 70 percent of the gas in the country. He said that the load shedding of gas is being made due to supply to other provinces. Citing article 158 of the Constitution he said that the “provinces producing gas have precedence in its use before supply to other provinces”. The chief minister said that natural gas is a federal subject and provinces are equal partners in it – PT