Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday came down hard on doctors who had prepared a medical report for Shahrukh Jatoi, the prime suspect in the Shahzeb Khan murder case, even making an unannounced visit to the Jinnah Hospital to see for himself how the hospital was running its affairs.
Justice Nisar had last week taken notice of Jatoi's shifting to the JPMC from Karachi's Central Jail following an alleged deterioration in his medical condition just a week after the SC set aside bail granted to him by the Sindh High Court.
Shahrukh Jatoi's report — prepared by the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and read out in court by the Inspector General of Sindh's Prison Police, Nusrat Magan — had clearly not satisfied the CJP, who questioned the standards of the medical institute.
According to reports, the document had stated that Jatoi was suffering from piles, which surprised Justice Nisar as he recalled that the accused had actually complained of a cardiac issue.
The chief justice was further displeased when Magan told him that Jatoi had been transferred to a 'C' category jail.
"Why is a murder convict kept in 'C' class?" the chief justice demanded. "Why isn't he in a dark cell?"
Magan responded that prisoners are kept in 'C' class until the SC confirms their sentence.
The CJP also ordered jail authorities to submit a report on the number of prisoners that are transferred from the jail to the hospital to receive medical care.
Hospital sources had earlier told Dawn that the young Jatoi underwent a medical check-up for a “health-related complaint” and was “advised” hospitalisation.
However, there was no word from police and health authorities as to the nature of the illness being faced by Jatoi, who is in his early 20s. The Executive Director of the JPMC, Dr Seemin Jamali, had said at the time that the information was not being divulged "to protect the patient’s privacy".
Jatoi was among three accused in the Shahzeb Khan murder case — Siraj Talpur and Sajjad Talpur being the other two — who had been arrested after the SC revoked their bails earlier this month. The fourth accused, Ghulam Murtaza Lashari, a servant of the Talpurs, had already been in jail.
The three accused, who were arrested from the apex court's premises in Islamabad earlier this month, were later brought to Karachi.
Before he was released on bail in December 2017, Jatoi had spent a sizable chunk of his incarceration at the JPMC, where he was reportedly undergoing 'treatment'. The hospital had been declared a sub-jail for the murder accused.
Sharjeel Memon sent back to jail
Hours later, the chief justice also ordered former provincial minister Sharjeel Inam Memon to be returned to jail from a medical facility he was being held in.
"The court did not allow Memon to be transferred to a hospital," Justice Nisar told Magan when the latter insisted that the former Sindh information minister had been admitted on doctors' recommendations.
After his arrest from the SHC in October last year, Memon had appealed that a medical board be formed to examine him since his health was deteriorating. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordered that a medical board comprising a neurologist and a neurophysician among other specialists be formed to determine if Memon can be treated at the Karachi Central Jail's own hospital or not.
Taking the medical report prepared by the medical board formed by NAB, the chief justice today pointed out that the report had only recommended a few medical tests. The board had also recommended that Memon should be treated in the jail hospital, the chief justice said.
"Who ordered you to transfer him [Memon] to a medical facility?" Justice Nisar asked Magan. "Send him back to jail today."
Notices were also issued to the medical board that examined Memon.
An accountability court in Karachi had on Thursday indicted Memon and 11 others in a corruption case pertaining to the award of advertisements at 'exorbitant rates' through the abuse of power.
NAB had filed a reference in 2016 against the former minister, the then provincial information secretary, deputy directors of the Sindh information department Mansoor Ahmed Rajput, Mohammed Yousuf Kaboro and others for allegedly committing corruption from 2013 to 2015 in awarding advertisements of the provincial government’s awareness campaigns in electronic media, causing a loss of around Rs3.27 billion to the national exchequer.