LAHORE                -            The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday sought a draft of Punjab Medical Teaching Institutions (PMTI) (Reforms) Bill and other details till March 13 on an application for proceedings against doctors for allegedly violating the court order.

Justice Jawad Hassan passed the orders while hearing a civil miscellaneous application filed by the Judicial Activism Panel (JAP), a public interest litigation firm.

At the start of the proceedings, senior lawyer Abid Saqi on behalf of doctors argued that the court had ordered to take all stakeholders into confidence before the approval of the bill but the government got approved the bill from the assembly while ignoring the court orders.

At this, the court noted that the assembly was empowered to carry out legislation under the rules of the business. However, the court would review how the bill was approved. Whether the court directions were kept in view or not, it added.

The court questioned whether the doctors were observing strike against the approval of the bill. To which, Pakistan Medical Association President Ashraf Nizami stated that doctors were not observing any strike.

Subsequently, the court issued notices to the Punjab government and sought a draft of the bill while adjourning hearing till March 13. The petitioner had submitted that, during the earlier proceedings, the court had directed doctors to avoid any call for strike and restrained them from staging any protest in any hospital, warning that such an act would be tantamount to contempt. However, doctors and paramedics were again on roads against the bill, it added.

It prayed that a report on steps taken for compliance with orders passed by court’s single bench in November last year be placed on record. It also called for initiation of appropriate proceedings against those who violated the orders by holding strikes or causing blockage of roads. The application was filed in a pending petition against doctors strike in the wake of the bill.