PESHAWAR – Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan has said that judicial inquiry will be conducted in case any new polio case surfaces, adding that the responsible will be taken to task.

He added that the government would pay compensation to the family of polio victim. He said this at the inauguration ceremony held here on Saturday at Peshawar High Court in connection with the three-day National Immunisation Campaign starting from April 23-25. Prominent among those who were present on the occasion included Justice Miftahuddin Khan, Justice Mian Faseehul Mulk, Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, Registrar PHC Subhan Sher Khan, Advocate General KP Asadullah Khan Chamkani, Secretary Health KP Ashfaq Khan, DG Health Dr Sharif Ahmad,UNICEF Provincial Chief Lucio Melandari, WHO Provincial Team Leader Dr Ubaid, DD EPI Dr Jan Baz, AIG Motorways, Farooq Azam, Media Officer UNICEF, Presidents of Bar Associations, senior lawyers and members of district judiciary.

Highlighting the steps taken by the judiciary for promotion of awareness among all the concerned stakeholders for polio eradication, Justice Dost Muhammad Khan said that all bars, district and session judges had been taken on board for displaying banners in order to disseminate the information and importance of the campaign. An appeal has been made to ulema for using their influence in making people aware of the importance of the campaign, he said, adding that keeping in view the alarming increase in polio cases in Khyber agency, the political agent of the agency was summoned to gear up the efforts and mobilise all the resources for reaching out the areas where the children were missed.

He said that a proposal was under consideration that every petition in the court should be entertained only if the petitioner gives an undertaking in writing that all the kids in his home have been vaccinated against polio. In a sue-moto case, the division bench of this court presided by him, passed an order directing all the concerned provincial authorities to coordinate and cooperate in making the IDPs camp at Jalozai Peshawar polio free by launching extensive programme of polio immunization.

The concerned authorities have been directed to submit their reports in this regard before the next date fixed for April 24, 2012, he said, adding that Chief Secretary, Health Secretary, DG Health Services, Peshawar Police Chief and DG Provincial Disaster Management Authority have been directed to execute the order of the court.

The PHC CJ said that in another suo moto case, the Division Bench of the court presided by him, passed an order on April 10, 2012 to implement the Health Policy given by the court to the provincial government which include extension of cooperation to the members of the Bar Association, Fata administration, particularly Khyber Agency, the entire district judiciary and high court benches for vaccination teams immediately so that the polio immunization programme be launched on urgent basis.

He also proposed to the Federal Government to direct National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and passport department not to issue CNIC and passports unless the applicant produces the certificate for polio vaccination to their children.

The Chief Justice said that in order to eradicate the enemy, joint efforts of all stakeholders were needed. He said that banking sector could also play a role in polio eradication initiative by linking issuing of loans to production of polio certificate.

He also proposed that production of polio certificate should be made mandatory for issuance of Watan Cards, driving licenses, election candidates/voters, ration cards, admission of kids in schools. Moreover, he added that commercials adds on television screen should be followed by slogan “Kill the Polio by administering two drops to your children.”

UNICEF Provincial Chief Lucio Melandri while calling it a historical day in the fight against polio highlighted the efforts of the UNICEF for social mobilization of masses to create demand for polio vaccine and to counter the refusals.