NDMA responsible for Murree tragedy: IHC

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Islamabad High Court (IHC) while declaring National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) responsible for Murree tragedy has directed Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan to convene meeting of National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC) next week and file report thereof till January 21.

The petition seeking investigation into Murree tragedy and action against the responsible persons in Murree tragedy came up for hearing before single bench of IHC led by Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah Thursday.

The CJ IHC remarked NDMA failed in discharging its obligation. Who is responsible for death of 22 people. As per law NDMA is responsible for preparations to deal with any tragedy and response.

Member NDMA appeared before IHC.

The court remarked” read NDMA law.

Member NDMA read out law before the court.

The CJ IHC remarked “ you said if earth quake strikes then it is not our responsibility. Determine it who is responsible for the 22 people who were killed in Murree tragedy. Had preparations been made and steps been taken then 22 people and children would not have lost their lives.

The court inquired has NDMC held meeting ever.

Member NDMA told the court commission had held five meetings. Commission meeting took place on March 05, 2007, 2010, February 21, 2013 and March 28, 2018.
The court inquired has any member of opposition sent application for convening meeting of the commission.

Member NDMA told the court no member of opposition has sent application.

The court remarked can there be any other body stronger than this. Did Director General (DG) NDMA request the PM to summon the meeting.

Member NDMA told the court the DG made written request to PM to convene meeting at the time of corona virus.

The court remarked the law is there. Had it been implemented not a single life would have been lost. This is such robust law as it places responsibility on every district. Did NDMA fix responsibility on any one.

Member NDMA told the court this was responsibility of provincial governments.

The court remarked then you did not study the law of NDMA. This was responsibility of NDMA. Non holding regular meetings was failure of NDMA.

Member NDMA told the court the provincial governments were to hold the meetings of the bodies.

CJ IHC while expressing annoyance over Member NDMA remarked don’t shift it to others. Implementing the law was the responsibility of NDMA. Whosoever comes here says leave the law. Before court you are shifting the responsibility to the provinces. There is no need of inquiry in this case. NDMA is responsible. If meetings were not being held then you should have told. All deliver speeches outside but no one follows law. Had the law been implemented then this incident would not have happened. All are saying this people of Murree are not good. Their fault is what. They are being defamed. Who can be more powerful in the state than the people who are mentioned in this law. Go and write to the PM to convene meeting of commission and take action against the responsible persons. Every member of commission is responsible of this incident. Has chairman NDMA read this law. After all this have you any thing more to say.

He further observed the heads of chairman and all those under him should hang in shame. No inquiry. There is need to implement the law. They could not tell during 11 years what is plan for Murree. Had there been district plan then no hotel wala could have overcharged. Convene the meeting of the commission next week and fix the responsibility of casualties. File the report in the court. Is there any need to get hold the inquiry by any other body in the presence of commission. Which any body can be stronger than presence of PM and opposition leader and others in the commission. The chief ministers of all the provinces are included in the commission. You are responsible of this incident. Do you want decision from the court. All those who are mentioned in NDMA law are responsible for these deaths. The entire state is responsible for these deaths.

The court ordered PM Imran Khan to convene meeting of NDMC next week besides filing report in the court till January 21.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till January. 21.