PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday issued show cause notice to the special secretary of the provincial Health Department asking him to explain within 15 days under which law, his office had been created and he had been posted to it.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth also suspended some notifications issued by the provincial health department and the chief executive of Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) through which the post of the accident and emergency department (AED) director and some facilities at the hospital were done away with.
The bench was hearing a writ petition filed by LRH AED Director Dr Shiraz Qayyum against the impugned notifications.
The petitioner said his post was abolished to frustrate an earlier order of the court through which orders were issued to place the funds allocated for the department on the disposal of the director.
Said Rehman Khan, lawyer for the petitioner, said the high court had decided on Sept 12, 2012 during the hearing into a contempt of court petition that AED was independent from LRH and the funds allocated for it were specifically for that department and couldn’t be used by LRH.
He said to frustrate that order of the high court, the Health Department bosses, including Special Secretary Health Professor Noorul Aiman, issued several notifications.
He added that last month, a notification was issued to empower the chief executive of LRH to abolish the post of the AED director and there followed another notification on Nov 5 through which patients care facilities were withdrawn.
The lawyer said the LRH chief executive later issued a notification and abolished the post of the AED director and ordered that the petitioner report to the director general of health services.
He added that the petitioner was appointed the director in BPS-20 through open competition but the chief executive reverted him to the BPS-17 post of the medical officer.
The lawyer said huge funds had been allocated for AED and they included Rs150 million for the construction of new building and Rs70 million for victims of terrorist activities.
He said the notifications were issued by the special health secretary while functioning as the acting health secretary in the absence of the secretary, who was out of the country to perform Haj.
The chief justice expressed displeasure over the situation and observed that how a special secretary could be appointed in presence of a permanent secretary.
He observed it would be appropriate to issue him a show cause notice and ask him under what authority, he was posted as special secretary.
A few days ago, the court had issued the contempt of court notices to the provincial chief secretary, secretary and special secretary (health), director general of health services, chief executive and medical superintendent of LRH in a case regarding release of funds to the AED director.
The contempt petition was filed by the AED director after the earlier order of the court on the matter was not acted upon by the said officials.