The owner and chairperson of Darul Sehat Hospital, Amir Chishti, and vice-chairperson Syed Ali Farhan escaped from court on Tuesday after their bail applications in the Nashwa death case were dismissed by an additional district and sessions court in Karachi.
Judicial staff and other witnesses said Chishti and Farhan left the courtroom soon after the judge announced the verdict, dismissing their applications seeking pre-arrest bail. Both of them had approached the court to seek bail in an attempt to avoid their arrest in the case.
"They easily escaped [from the premises of the City Courts] since the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case Sub-Inspector Mohammad Saleem Khan, who was also present in the court, did not make any attempt to take them into custody," alleged Advocate Muneer Ahmed Gilal, the counsel for the deceased child's father.
A case has been registered against the hospital owner Chishti and vice-chairperson Farhan as well as six absconding and four detained administration and medical staffers under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 322 (manslaughter) 337 (Shajjah: causing hurt) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code on the complaint of the child’s father Qaiser Ali.
Earlier, during the court proceedings, the suspects' lawyer said that the role of the hospital administration had not been mentioned in the first information report (FIR) and added that the "real FIR" only mentioned that Nashwa had died because a wrong injection was administered to her.
He alleged that after the FIR was registered, the statements tried to steer the incident in another direction, adding that it was the responsibility of the IO to bring the case forward in a better way.
According to the lawyer, both the employees who made the mistake have been removed.
Additionally, the lawyer said that it was unreasonable to seal the hospital and added that it had been sealed on the verbal orders of Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. He said that the health minister had given orders to arrest the doctors and under media pressure, the chief minister had ordered Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam to arrest whoever they find.
On Monday, the trial court had issued arrest warrants for six absconding suspects, including the hospital’s director Irfan Aslam, executive director Dr Shehzad Alam, nursing head Dr Rizwan Azmi, chief medical officer Dr Syed Sharjeel Hassan, night duty doctor/RMO Dr Attiya Ahmed and Syed Shabbar Rizvi, and directed the investigating officer to produce them before the court on May 11.
Two of them, Dr Hassan and Dr Ahmed, had also escaped from the court of an additional district and sessions’ judge after their interim pre-arrest bail was recalled on May 3.
Police nominates 13 suspects
Last week, the IO filed an interim charge sheet against 13 administration and medical staffers of the hospital, including its chairman and vice-chairman.
The IO, Sub-Inspector Mohammad Saleem Khan, mentioned that the private health facility was inspected and the evidence was collected, including the CCTV footage, showing staffer Sobia Irshad preparing the injection and later nursing assistant Agha Moiz injecting the same to the girl.
It said that during initial interrogation Ahmer Shehzad, Atif Javed and Sobia confessed to their offence, adding that the toddler died during treatment at the Liaquat National Hospital, therefore, Section 302 of the PPC had been added to the FIR after recording further statement of the complainant.
The IO had listed 25 persons as witnesses.
Additional reporting by Shafi Baloch.