PESHAWAR: Peshawar High Court on Thursday stopped the provincial government from removing six members of the board of governors of four medical teaching institutions in the province until further orders.

It, however, declared that the ongoing “search and nomination” exercise for new members of MTIs across the province should continue.

The order was issued by a bench consisting of Justice Ijaz Anwar and Justice Syed Arshad Ali during the into multiple petitions filed by several members of MTI BoGs, including chairman of the Khyber Teaching Hospital’s board Dr Umer Ayub Khan, member of the Hayatabad Medical Complex’s board Mohammad Ali Chauhan, member of the Lady Reading Hospital’s board Dr Musa Kaleem, and members of the Ayub Teaching Hospital Abbottabad’s board Javed Ahmad Turk, Aftab Rabbani and Ayaz Ahmad.

The bench also sought the reply of the government to the petitions.

However, it declares search, nomination exercise for new members of MTIs should continue

Lawyers for the petitioners included Mian Zakir Hussain, Barrister Babar Shehzad Imran and Habib Anwar, whereas provincial advocate general Shah Faisal Uthmankhel appeared for the government.

The counsel for petitioners said that their clients were appointed in Dec last year as members of BoGs of different MTIs for a period of three years.

They added that the petitioners were appointed under Section 5(3) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Teaching Institutions Reforms Act (MTIRA), 2015, on the recommendation of the search and nomination council, which was constituted under Section 8 of the law.

The counsel for petitioner Dr Umer Ayub said his client was appointed as a member of the KTH BoG and was later elected as its chairman.

The lawyers said after the Feb 8 general elections, the new provincial government decided to replace the chairmen and members of the BoGs of the MTIs and had assigned the task to the search and nomination committee to make selection for these slots.

They argued that the petitioners could not be removed from their posts without assigning any valid reason as they had been appointed for a period of three years.

The lawyers contended that the government intended to make new appointments on political basis so as to accommodate their favourites against these posts.

They said after assuming their charge the present BoGs had worked with utmost dedication resulting in improvement in the performance of different MTIs.

The lawyers added that until recently, the hospitals were being run smoothly under the overall supervision of the BoGs.

They, however, said that after a cabinet meeting on April 23 wherein despite matters of the BoGs not being on the agenda, the same was discussed at length and there were rumours that the government was bent upon dissolving all the boards including that of KTH, LRH, HMC and ATH.

AG Shah Faisal Uthmankhel contended that those petitions were not maintainable and may be dismissed.

He argued that the petitioners should have moved the MTI Appellate Tribunal, which was the proper forum under the MTIRA for redressal of their grievances instead of approaching the high court.

“The petitioners approached the court on the basis of assumptions as the government has so far not issued any order for replacing them,” he said.

The AG questioned when no cause of action had so far been arisen, how the petitioners could approach the court.

Rebutting the arguments of the AG, advocate Mian Zakir Hussain contended that the process started by the search and nomination council was the first step for the removal of the petitioners.

He added that currently, the MTI Appellate Tribunal was non-functional as only its chairman was appointed, whereas the members had not been appointed and therefore, the petitioners had to approach the high court for relief.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Afghan challenge
Updated 15 Jul, 2024

Afghan challenge

Foreign states must emphasise to the Afghan Taliban diplomatic recognition and trade relations all depend on greater counterterrorism efforts.
‘Complete’ justice
15 Jul, 2024

‘Complete’ justice

NOW that the matter of PTI’s reserved seats stands resolved, there are several equally pressing issues pertaining...
Drug fog
15 Jul, 2024

Drug fog

THE country has an old drug problem. While the menace has raged across divides of class and gender, successive ...
Miles to go
Updated 14 Jul, 2024

Miles to go

Some reforms agreed with the Fund are going to seriously impact economic growth and fresh investments, at least in the short term.
Iddat ruling
14 Jul, 2024

Iddat ruling

IT was a needless, despicable spectacle which only ended up uniting both conservatives and progressives in ...
Cricket shake-up
14 Jul, 2024

Cricket shake-up

SOMEONE had to take the blame and bear the brunt of the fallout from Pakistan’s disastrous showing at the T20 ...