LAHORE - Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan of the Lahore High Court Thursday summoned attorney general of Pakistan and advocate general of Punjab for legal assistance in a petition filed against deaths of children due to substandard measles vaccine.

As the proceedings commenced, Advocate Azhar Siddique that the required temperature was not provided to vaccine while the lower staff responsible for administering the vaccine to children was not fully trained. He said it was the reason that various dozens of children lost their lives in 2013.

The counsel contended that vaccine carriers did not contain the vaccine as per its capacity rather surplus quantity was kept in them, therefore, the required temperature was not provided to the vaccine and it became expired.

Siddique had filed the petition and pleaded the court to hold judicial inquiry into measles-related deaths, so that the responsibility could be fixed on government functionaries for failing to control the outbreak. The petitioner said many officials of the health department, including the Health EDO, were part of a scandal under which vaccine was stolen and supplied to private hospitals. And yet, no action had been taken against the responsible, he said

The counsel told the judge that the health department should be made autonomous by taking it from the control of the provincial government. He said political influence was ruining the condition of health facilities.

After hearing the arguments the court adjourned the hearing until July 10.