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Give rat-killing pills to people if not atta: SC

08 April, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday said if the government could not provide flour to the masses, it should give them rat-killing pills.

A three-member apex court bench, presided over by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, made these remarks during the course of the hearing of JI Secretary General Liaquat Baloch's petition against the growing prices of atta here on Monday.

Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked, "What justification is left for a democratic government to stay at the helm of affairs if it cannot provide atta to the common man at subsidised rates?"

He further remarked, "The dogs of rulers eat marmalade. Land worth of billions of rupees is being sold at throwaway rate. Millions of rupees are being spent on funfairs. If you cannot give inexpensive atta to the poor, give them rat-killing pills. We cannot see the people dying this way. The federation and provinces should know it well wherever there is … is a breach of constitution and fundamental human rights. The SC will make necessary interference at any cost and will not spare anyone."

He observed,"Women are selling their children. People are committing self-immolation. Essential commodities are not available to the common man. Government has raised the prices of wheat to such a level that common man is much worried. Democratic government cares for the rights of people but why it is not being done so at present."

The court sought detailed reply from federation and provinces on price fixing formula with regard to atta till April, 14.Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Attiq Shah appeared in the court.The SC remarked, "We had given notice to the provinces. Tell us if the provinces have also let the people starve to death after passage of 18th Amendment."

Attiq Shah said that the orders were issued to Ministry of National Food security and Research. A meeting was held in this regard with them and the ministry was ready to provide its report in chamber.

Justice Jawwad remarked, "Tell us what has been done. These meetings have benefited to the poor nation to what extent. All law officers should tell if it is a job of the SC that it should tell that the poor people are dying."

Attique Shah said, "It is an institution for providing relief therefore, you can issue orders."Justice Jawwad remarked, "Enough is enough. Government should be compassionate with the poor people now. Reports of Sindh and Punjab are before us. The reports of remaining provinces may have come."

Justice Jawwad remarked, "Liaquat Baloch from JI has filed petition. How long the court should keep on doing the jobs of government. Will the government do its jobs or otherwise?"Justice Jawwad remarked, "Federation fixes prices and provincial governments control them. How will it be done so? The farmer should be paid the price for its hard work."

The court remarked, "You should combine the reports of federal government and all the four provinces and evolve a document. Inflation has gone skyrocketing. Government is enjoying feasts and atta at low price is not available to common man. People are dying, why?"DAG said comprehensive report would be filed for the assistance of the court.


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