LAHORE - The Lahore High Court was told on Friday that a private hospital’s mafia was provoking the young doctors for strikes to get more patients towards them instead of free treatment at public health facilities.Justice Ijazul Ahsan was hearing two separate petitions, one against the Punjab government and other against the Young Doctors Association (YDA).In first petition, the judge once again denied instant relief to young doctors against their removal, suspension and transfer being done by the provincial government in response to recent protest launched by the YDA. The court, however, sought reply from the government on the petition filed by the association challenging actions being taken by the authorities against the doctors. Along with their counsel, YDA’s representatives Nasir Abbas and Amir Bandesha told the court that ‘unjust’ done by the government in Gujranwala doctor’s scuffle incident had forced the association to initiate the protest. They said the government instead of implementing the service structure of young doctors started taking unwarranted actions against them. They asked the court to take notice of the alleged victimisation at the hands of the government’s authorities and issue a stay order. The judge, however, advised the young doctors to get their issues resolved through dialogues and avoid agitation. The judge remarked that torture on a senior doctor in Gujranwala was a deplorable incident which could not be ignored. Hearing the second petition to take action against the striking doctors, the court issued notices to federal and Punjab government, PMDC, Pakistan Medical Association and YDA.Advancing arguments on Friday, Azhar Siddique said that YDA’s actions proved that it had become a political and not its members were behaving like rogues in the society. The mafia of private hospitals was also backing the YDA to forcefully divert the poor patients towards them instead of free medical treatment at government hospitals, the counsel added.An Additional Advocate General Fasial Zaman also appeared before the court and backed the arguments of Azhar Siddique. Judicial Activism Panel through it Chairman Azhar Siddique moved the petition by submitting that observing strikes at the cost of patients’ lives was act of criminal negligence. He requested the court to issue directions to PMDC and other regulatory bodies of doctors to take punitive action including cancellation of practicing licences of protesting doctors. DISMISSED: The LHC dismissed a petition moved by Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) officers seeking up-gradation of their posts in light of a federal government notification.Muhammad Rashid and 14 other officers, from grade 7 to 17, of Accounts and Audit Section of Wapda submitted that the federal government had in 2001 issued a notification up-grading the posts of all federal departments including autonomous bodies. They said they made many representations before the quarters concerned for up-gradations the posts, but in vain.They requested the court to issued directions to the authority for up-grading their posts.Wapda submitted reply and said the being statutory body the authority was not bound to obey the orders of the federal government. It had the powers not to obey the orders issued by the federal government or establishment division, the reply said. Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan recorded the arguments of both the parties and dismissed the petition by declaring it non-maintainable.REPLY SOUGHT: The LHC sought reply from Sadar Jahang Police Station on a petition seeking registration of a case against Nawaz Akram Sheikh, brother of PML-Q MNA Waqas Akram Sheikh, and his accomplices under rape charges. Justice Sheikh Najamul Hassan directed the police to submit reply until January 15. The girl, Farazana Bibi, moved the application through Advocate Sardar Akbar Ali Dogar.She alleged that she worked as a maid at accused house for about three years. The accused stopped her salary and raped her when she demanded the wages, the girl alleged.She requested the court to direct police to register case against accused and arrest them.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 12-Jan-2013 here.