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August 9, 2020

Transfer of hospitals to Centre: Contempt petition filed against violation of SC orders

National

August 9, 2020

ISLAMABAD: A contempt petition was Saturday filed with the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Imran Khan as well as federal secretaries for not implementing its order passed last year for transferring the management of three major hospitals in Karachi to the federal government within 90 days.

Dr Barkat Ullah of Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center (JPMC) filed a contempt of court petition with the apex court against violation of its Jan 17, 2019 order.

A five-member bench of the apex court – headed by the then Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar – on January 17, 2029 dismissed the Sindh government’s appeal over a dispute in the management of three major hospitals in Karachi – namely the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), National Institute of Cardio Vascular Diseases (NICVD) and National Institute of Child Health (NICH).

The court was dealing with the matter relating to the devolution of health and education sectors after the enactment of 18th Amendment.

The court had ordered that their management be transferred to the federal government within 90 days adding that the provincial governments could request the court for an extension if the process of transfer

was not completed in 90 days.

The court had also ordered the federal government to reimburse the past year’s expenses of hospitals and museum borne by the provincial governments.

The court had observed that 18th Amendment was incorrectly interpreted in this matter.

The court observed that the hospitals were handed over to the provinces without taking into account the legal and lawful process.

It further observed that the centre was responsible for the basic rights of people and its power could not be diminished, said the court.

The Sindh government had moved the Supreme Court against the Sindh High Court judgment that declared the transfer and devolution of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), National Institute of Cardio-Vascular Department (NICVD), the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and the National Museum to the Sindh as unconstitutional.

The Sindh High Court’s full bench had declared as unlawful the transfer of JPMC, NICVD, NICH, and the National Museum to the provincial government under the 18th Amendment.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard a matter relating to the devolution of health and education sectors after the enactment of 18th Amendment.

On Saturday, the petitioner made Prime Minister Imran Khan, Cabinet Secretary Maroof Afzal, Secretary Ministry of National Health Services Allah Bakhsh Malik, Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch, Secretary Law and Justice Arshad Farooq Faheem, Accountant General for Pakistan Sardar Azmat Shafi and Chief Secretary Sindh Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah, as respondents.