LAHORE – MIAN DAWOOD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Saturday suspended an LHC order that had restrained the FIA from conducting an inquiry against a scientist who had invented cheaper Interferon injections to end foreign monopoly.
The apex court issued the order on an appeal filed by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
(The imported injections cost between Rs3,000 and Rs5,000 a piece while the local one was to sell at just Rs70.)
The LHC had in 2011 restrained the ministry and the FIA from humiliating the scientist till the audit of the appellant ministry (MoST) and the Ministry of Health by the Auditor General of Pakistan.
The appellant ministry submitted a special audit report before the bench comprising Justice Tassaduq Jillani and Justice Saqib Nisar, who are currently sitting at the SC’s Lahore Registry. But this report mentions the audit of only the CAMB, a research organization which works under the MoST, whereas the LHC had ordered audit of both the ministries.
The appellant ministry also submitted that the LHC decision was against the norms of justice and the LHC had not powered constitutionally to restrain any investigating agency from probe of financial irregularities. The appellant MoST also submitted that about Rs1 billion had been misappropriated at Centre of Applied Molecular Biology when Dr Riazud Din was heading it.
The scientist Dr Riazud Din had invented Interferon injection to make it available in the market at a cost of less that Rs.70. However, the Ministry of Health did not give approval to the local injection, despite repeated requests. Thus the labour of about one and a half year has resulted in the wastage of the first 100,000 injections which have expired.
Later, a parliamentary committee took up the notice of the expiry and the matter of delay was probed to fix the responsibility. However, no report of the committee has been made public.