LAHORE - The Punjab Health Care Commission told the Supreme Court on Saturday that over 80,000 quacks were operating in Punjab because the commission did not have the powers to seal such business.

Punjab Health Care Commissioner Chief Operating Officer Dr. Ajmal Khan appeared before the two-member bench headed by CJP Mian Saqib Nisar during hearing of a suo motu notice on quacks in the province.

Justice Ijazul Ashan was the other member of the bench.

The PHC chief said 13,000 quacks were in Multan, 14, 500 in Sahiwal, 14,000 in Lahore, 9000 in Bahawalpur, 10,000 in Rawalpindi, 8,000 in DG Khan and 22500 in Faisalabad. He said Faisalabad is the top of the list.

He also briefed the bench about difficulties they had been facing to deal with the illegal business. The officer said initially they had no power to seal the quacks and to take strict action against them. But now they had got that powers but need support to eliminate the quackery.

Other health officials and members of YDA were also present there.

The officer said he was facing huge litigation in the courts against them just for taking action against the quacks. 

“Twenty-two writ petitions have been filed against me in high court and over 300 other cases by the quacks,” said Dr Ajmal.

He pointed out that it was only a judgment of the Lahore High Court which provided a shield to those who had been playing with the health of the people. He said the judgment had said that the commission had no powers to seal.

After hearing the arguments of the officers and others, Chief Justice of Pakistan ordered elimination of quackery in Punjab, with directives to the police to support Health Care Commission in this regard.   The top judge  gave one week time  to the Punjab police to launch a crackdown against the quack doctors in the province and arrest them.

The CJP took suo motu notice over a report of the death of a woman because a quack administered her a wrong injection in the Kahana locality of Lahore.

Recently, Punjab Health Commission launched a drive against fake doctors, sealing 57 of their clinics in the province.

“Punjab police should have taken strict actions against them,” the CJP remarked. “In one week, all of them should be arrested and a report should be submitted before the court,” he added.

CJP also restrained all courts across the country from to issue orders against health care commission and asked the aggrieved persons to directly approach the SC for redressal of their grievances.

Public Companies: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar also directed Punjab chief secretary retired Capt Zahid Saeed to ensure that the record of public sector companies was provided to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) by 9pm Sunday (today).

A NAB official appeared before the bench and complained that the companies’ record was not being provided to the bureau. 

Nishtar Medical University: The top Court also suspended Dr Zafar Hussain Tanvir as vice chancellor of Multan’s Nishtar Medical University, with directives to  a search committee constituted earlier to make fresh appointment strictly on merit.

 CJP Nisar passed the order while hearing a suo motu notice against appointment of Dr Tanvir, who had a PhD degree in Zoology, but the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council did not approve his degree.

 The chief justice also expressed dismay over the name of Dr. Tanvir recommended by members of the search committee. Prof Faisal Masood, who was one of its members, also resigned as vice chancellor of University of Health Sciences following the strict remarks of the chief justice.

Journalist killing: The Supreme Court of Pakistan also gave 10-day time to police to arrest the prime suspect in the murder case of journalist Zeeshan Butt of Sambrial.

Hearing the suo motu case of the journalist’s killing at the Lahore registry on Saturday, the CJP passed the order. .

Inspector General Police Punjab Arif Nawaz Khan appeared before the bench and submitted a report pertaining to arrests made in the case. The report stated that police had arrested three suspects in the case, however the main suspect Imran alias Mani was still at large.

When Chief Justice, Justice Saqib Nisar inquired from the IGP how long it would take to arrest the suspect, he pleaded for 10 days which was granted.

On April 6, the apex court had directed IGP Punjab Arif Nawaz to arrest the accused in the case at the earliest and launch an inquiry against him under the anti-terrorism act. During proceedings the chief justice had inquired if the accused belonged to any political party and was informed by the IGP that he was affiliated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

Print journalist Zeeshan Butt was murdered on March 27 in the Union Council Office of Samaryal tehsil of Sialkot. His family has accused UC Chairperson Imran Cheema of the murder.

Zeeshan Butt had visited Imran Cheema’s office to inquire about taxes levied on shop owners, according to an audiotape of his last telephone conversation with District Council chairperson Hina Arshad Waraich on the day of his murder.

Zeeshan Butt had called Hina Waraich to inform her of death threats he received from Imran Cheema following a heated exchange with him. Butt did not get a chance to complete his conversation as the sound of three gun shots were heard during the telephone conversation. The journalist succumbed to injuries received from firing within the UC office premises – the site of the incident.

CJP also sought report from Lahore district & sessions judge about embezzlement of Rs. 130 million which a widow deposited in national exchequer during the pendency of her civil case.

Nabila, the widow, along with her counsel advocate Iqbal Kalanoori appeared before SC and informed the CJP that a property dispute was pending in civil court and on court’s order she had deposited Rs.140 million in treasury.

She won the case and appeals up to high court and both the parties struck a compromise when the case landed in Supreme Court. She said she approached the civil court for release of her money and was stunned to know that some unknown persons had got released Rs. 130 million on fake documents.

On it, CJP asked Lahore sessions judge to furnish a report by April 21.

Luxury cars : Justice Nisar also took notice of the use of luxury cars of minister and judges alike. The top judge also directed provincial governments to submit reports over the use and provision of luxury cars in each province.

The SC directed all cabinet secretaries and provincial secretaries of the country to submit their reports. The apex court also directed the registrars of all high courts across the country to submit a report in 15 days of the luxury sedans in use of all the justices of these courts.

 

The CJP took notice during hearing of the alleged corruption in railways case. Khawaja Saad Rafique, Minister of Railways, appeared at the SC’s Lahore registry. “Health and education have been deteriorated and still officials want to enjoy a ride in their luxury sedans,” the CJP remarked.