KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday granted interim pre-arrest bail to two senior officials of a private health facility a day after a sessions court had dismissed their pleas in a case pertaining to the death of nine-month-old Nashwa due to alleged medical negligence.

Chairman Amir Waliuddin Chishti and vice chairman Syed Ali Farhan of the Darul Sehat Hospital through their lawyer moved the SHC to seek bail.

On May 7, an additional district and sessions court turned down the pre-arrest bail applications of both the suspects and they managed to escape from the City Courts shortly after the dismissal of their bail applications.

After a preliminary hearing, a single bench of the SHC headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar granted interim bail to both the applicants for 10 days against a surety bond of Rs50,000 each. The bench also put the prosecutor general on notice for the next hearing.

Death sentence set aside in 24-year-old case of kidnapping and murder of a woman

The chairman and the vice chairman with some staff members of the hospital have been booked after the death of nine-month-old Nashwa, who died allegedly after receiving improper treatment at the private health facility in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.

The infant, suffering from diarrhoea, was brought to the hospital on April 4. During the treatment a mishap occurred apparently due to wrong dosage injected by the nursing staff of the hospital that left her paralysed and eventually led to her death. Subsequently, the Sindh Healthcare Commission sealed the hospital and several staffers were arrested. Later, the SHC suspended the order of the commission about sealing the hospital till May 24.

Death sentence set aside

The SHC on Wednesday set aside the death sentence of an appellant in a 24-year-old case of kidnapping and murder of a woman.

An additional district and sessions court had sentenced Mohammad Sabir to death in October 2017 after finding him guilty of killing the 21-year-old woman after subjecting her to criminal assault in 1996 in a Malir locality.

The convict through his lawyer had challenged the death penalty before the high court.

After hearing both sides and examining the evidence, a two-judge appellant bench of the SHC headed by Justice Niamatullah Phulpoto allowed the appeal and set aside the capital punishment.

According to the prosecution, Mohammad Zahoor, an absconding accused, had abducted the victim in 1995 in Bahawalpur and handed her over to Sabir in Karachi. Sabir allegedly killed the captive and Zahoor during questioning informed the police about the murder of the young woman. Sabir was arrested on a lead provided by Zahoor, it added. However, Zahoor went into hiding after obtaining bail.

Missing children

The same bench on Wednesday directed the police to make serious efforts for the recovery of the remaining missing children after police recovered a missing girl and produced her before the court.

DIG Arif Hanif informed the bench that Sania Munawwar, who went missing over four years ago, was recovered, and maintained that the girl was a housemaid, but left the house of her employers due to torture and one Haris Aftab took her to Sheikhupura.

He further said that Aftab left the girl with her relatives after the news about the missing children was highlighted and added that action was being taken against the persons responsible in that regard.

The bench observed that it was hard to believe the version of police, but directed the police to make serious efforts for the recovery of the remaining 17 missing children.

Earlier, on a directive of the SHC, the police had lodged 23 FIRs regarding missing children at different police stations of the city. Later, five of them returned home.

The petition was filed by Roshni Research and Development Welfare in 2012 seeking court directives to the provincial police for considering the missing children’s cases, who went missing from different parts of Karachi, a cognisable offence and registering FIRs in that regard.

The NGO alleged that cases of missing children were not properly investigated by the police which resulted in many avoidable deaths.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2019