ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered constitution of a medical board to determine the veracity of reportedly deteriorating state of health of Khawaja Anvar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed of the Omni Group and Hussain Lowai, who are allegedly involved in the Rs35 billion fake accounts case.

A three-judge SC bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar asked the medical board under the surgeon general of Pakistan to determine the health conditions of the three accused in five days.

The court, which had taken up an application of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), expressed dismay over the lack of proper diagnosis on the part of the hospital where the three accused were admitted for treatment.

Anvar Majeed, chairman of the Omni Group of Companies, and Ghani Majeed were arrested by the FIA on the premises of the Supreme Court on Aug 15 and are under detention for their alleged involvement in the fake accounts case. Hussain Lowai, a former chairman of the Pakistan Stock Exchange who is considered to be a close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, was arrested by the FIA earlier.

Pointing towards head of Karachi’s Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) Dr Seemi Jamali, the CJP observed that he considered her weak because her hospital could not diagnose the patients in so many days.

Under surgeon general of Pakistan, board will determine health conditions of three accused in five days

He said he had deliberately avoided going to the MRI room during one of his visits to the hospital out of the respect of the hospital head and that he did not want to interfere in the affairs of the hospital.

The CJP said it was a failure on the part of the Sindh government that no diagnosis had been done so far, adding that now the diagnosis would be done in Islamabad.

Ayesha Hamid, the counsel for Anvar Majeed and Ghani Majeed, asked why the matter that belonged to Sindh was being sent to Punjab and said that no medical board could be constituted without proper justification.

At this, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, a member of the bench, asked the lawyer not to bring parochialism and remain within the confines of the law.

In its application filed on Friday, the FIA explained that Anvar Majeed and Ghani Majeed after their arrest had been sent to judicial lock-up on Aug 28.

However, Anvar Majeed was sent to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases on Aug 17 due to the fast deteriorating state of his health. Ghani Majeed was admitted to the JPMC on Aug 27 due to rectum bleeding and abdominal pain with high blood pressure.

On Aug 28, the Supreme Court rejected a similar application moved on behalf of senior counsel Shahid Hamid, who was representing Ghani Majeed, regarding serious health condition by stating that the health of his client was in danger and since Aug 19 he had been suffering from severe rectum bleeding. The counsel said that doctors had advised immediate medical attention.

Subsequently, Ghani Majeed was hospitalised after which his condition showed some improvement, the counsel added.

However, he wondered why a 45-year-old man was suffering from excessive bleeding of the rectum.

The application highlighted that the JPMC director had through a letter on Sept 6 requested for the constitution of a medical board, but the Sindh health department through its Sept 11 letter had declined the request by saying that the doctor who was treating the patient could decide his course of treatment.

In all fairness and justice, the FIA application argued, the SC might consider and order the constitution of a high-powered medical board to look into the veracity of the deteriorating state of health of the accused to avoid a serious situation.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2018