Friday August 19, 2022

SHC orders Jinnah Hospital, its subsidiaries to be under central govt

July 05, 2016

KARACHI: A five-year-long legal controversy over the devolution of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) as well as the National Museum came to an end on Monday as the Sindh High Court (SHC) declared their transfer to the province unconstitutional, giving an order to put these institutions under the central government’s purview.

An SHC full bench issued a verdict on identical petitions filed by the employees of the JPMC, NIVCD and others who had challenged the devolution of the federal government-run hospitals to the province.

“The purported transfer of the institutions failed on the constitutional plane and was unlawful,” the court verdict read.The court observed that all acts carried out or notifications or directives issued pursuant to the devolution were without lawful authority and of no legal effect.

The court directed the federal and provincials governments to complete all matters relating to the return of the JPMC, the NICVD, the NICH and the National Museum from the province to the Centre so that the healthcare institutions were restored to their positions on June 29, 2011 and the museum on April 5.

The court observed that the province would be entitled to a suitable reimbursement or adjustment from or with the federation of all disbursements and financial outlays made and expenditure incurred from the date of the transfer of the institutions to the province from the federation till the date of the return and restoration thereof from the province to the federation.

The court also suspended the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (Sindh Administration) Act, 2014 (Sindh Act IV of 2015) as ultra vires the Constitution. The petitioners’ counsel, Anwar Mansoor Khan, had submitted that there was nothing in the 18th Amendment for devolving these institutions to the province, and so their purported transfer from the federation was completely illegal.

The Sindh government’s counsel, Raza Rabbani, had submitted that hospitals in general were neither part of the federal list nor had they been on the concurrent list and thus these hospitals were exclusively in the provincial domain.