PESHAWAR: Issuing a stay order, the Peshawar High Court has suspended the provincial government’s recent notification for the dissolution of the board of governors (BoG) of the Bannu Medical Teaching Institution and removal of its chairman.
A bench consisting of Justice Mussarat Hilali and Justice Sahibzada Asadullah issued notice to the provincial health secretary seeking his comments on a petition filed by BoG chairman Dr Fareed Anwar against the Oct 27, 2020, notification.
The petitioner has alleged that transport minister Shah Mohammad Wazir, who belonged to Bannu district, is continuously interfering in the affairs of the Bannu MTI and prevailed upon the provincial government to dissolve the board of governors over mala fide intention.
Khalid Anwar Afridi, lawyer for the petitioner, said that his client was a noted urologist with extensive experience of medical field in the United Kingdom and Pakistan.
PHC seeks health secy’s response to petition against govt move
He said that after doing MBBS from the Khyber Medical College in 1973, the petitioner did his FRCS in 1990 from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburg, Scotland, and worked in different UK hospitals as a consultant urological surgeon.
The lawyer said that on return to Pakistan, he served in a private hospital for 18 months before he was made a professor of surgery in the Bannu Medical College for two years in 2010.
He said that on the recommendation of the search and scrutiny committee, his client was appointed as member of the Bannu MTI BoG through a notification on Oct 5, 2018.
The lawyer added that under Section 5 of the MTI Act, 2015, the term of BoG members from the private sector, including chairperson, should be three years.
He said that his client was elected the BoG chairman due to his excellent performance as a member and was notified on Oct 21, 2019.
The lawyer claimed that after his client became chairman of the BoG, local MPA Shah Mohammad, who was the provincial minister for transport, began interference in the affairs of the hospitals by pressuring him (petitioner) for the posting and transfer of numerous employees on political basis.
He said that the mala fide and intrusion in the affairs of the MTI was evident from a letter issued on Feb 4, 2020, whereby transport the minister, despite not having any legal powers, nominated a person, Ihsanullah, as a focal person in health sector for all health units in the district.
The lawyer said that the minister in question had appeared in a programme in a private television channel and declared that he was not happy with the performance of the BoG of the Bannu MTI and had taken up the issue with the chief minister, who promised the early removal of the board.
He said that prior to the issuance of the impugned notification, the deputy commissioner of Bannu district called the petitioner and asked him to stop visiting hospitals as he was no more the committee’s chairman.
The lawyer said that the transport minister finally prevailed and the provincial government issued the impugned notification of dissolving the MTI with an immediate effect.
He said that the dissolution of Bannu MTI was discriminatory, an outcome of the personal vendetta of the transport minister and in violation of Article 25 of the Constitution.
Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2020