LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday set aside the transfer of administrative control of Shaikh Zayed Postgraduate Medical Institute (SZPMI) from the federal government to the Punjab government.

Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan passed the order on several petitions observing that the impugned notification of 2012 issued by the prime minister did not contain any legal sanction; therefore, it was liable to be set aside.

The judge also struck down appointment of Dr Farid Ahmad Khan as chairman of the hospital, and other appointments. The judge observed that the provincial government failed to show any connection of the Trust with the SZPMI or to prove that the trust was active in such an act involved in the creation of the institute under question.

The judge ruled that within a period of six months, Sheikh Zayed Postgraduate Medical Institute shall stand restored to the federal government in position where it was before the impugned devolution.

During the hearing, Punjab government’s lawyer argued that the institute/hospital was established under a Trust on Nov 6, 1973. He said the Trust was meant to establish such hospitals or medical colleges in other provinces besides Punjab. The government contended that the funds were provided by the trust, though, the SZPMI was established yet as autonomous institute. The then prime minister gave administrative control of the institute to the Punjab government under the proviso to rule 3 read with sub-rule (8) of rule 5 and serial number No1 of schedule 1 of rules of business, 1973, the government’s lawyer argued. The government requested the court to dismiss the petitions.

The All Pakistan Paramedical Staff Federation and others had filed the petitions challenging a 2012 order issued by the cabinet division on the direction of the then PM regarding transfer of its administrative control.