SUKKUR: The Sindh High Court, Sukkur bench, on Tuesday came down hard on government lawyers and administrator of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD), Sukkur, for giving special treatment to Pakistan Peoples Party leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah, who is facing trial in a mega-corruption reference.
The bench was seized with a petition filed by Syed Tahir Hussain Shah of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf through his counsel Shahabuddin Shaikh, Aftab Soomro and Sajjad Dayo. The petitioner and his lawyers were present in court.
The petitioner has drawn the court’s attention to allotment of the entire third floor of the hospital to the PPP leader by the NICVD administrator. He submitted in court that Khursheed Shah had been kept in the hospital, instead of jail, for 20 months.
During the hearing of the petition, the bench comprising Justice Omar Siyal and Justice Mubeen Ahmed Lakho admonished the NICVD administration and asked them to explain why the whole third floor of the hospital was allotted to Khursheed Shah and why for this long a period.
The bench wanted to know about the ailment that had required the patient’s stay in the hospital for almost two years, observing that other patients needing admission and treatment might have been deprived of space and services due to occupation of the entire floor of the hospital by Khursheed Shah alone.
The bench was informed that “it is a common knowledge that the said PPP leader used to hold meetings with government officials and political activists; and conducted day-to-day political business” while staying in the hospital.
Annoyed over the favour extended to the suspect, the bench asked the NICVD administrator to leave the courtroom.
It also admonished additional advocate general Shafi Mohammad Chandio and assistant advocate General Zulfiqar Naich, asking them why the Sindh government was taking keen interest in such cases while appearing non-serious in common citizens’ cases.
The bench directed the Sindh chief secretary to submit an affidavit by tomorrow (June 30). It also asked the NAB director general and Dr Nadeem Qamar of the NICVD to submit their affidavits today [during/after the day’s hearing].
The bench asked the hospital administration how many other patients of the same ailment received the favours being extended to Khursheed Shah.
The other questions asked by the bench were: How many patients are negatively affected by allotment of the entire third floor of the hospital to Khursheed Shah? How many personal and political meetings, and with whose permission, are held on the premises of the hospital? Why Khursheed Shah has allegedly been occupying the third floor for almost two years? Why a political person has been given so much importance? Has the Sindh government declared NICVD a sub-jail? If yes, the related letters be submitted in court tomorrow. Is it true that government officials call on Mr Shah at the hospital and get instructions?
The bench warned that the chief minister and chief secretary could be summoned to the court if the affidavits were not submitted.
The hearing of the petition was put off till 11.30am Wednesday (June 30).
Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2021