The Supreme Court on Saturday dissolved the Punjab Healthcare Commission’s (PHC) board of commissioners and directed that a new board to be formed within two weeks.

A special bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the matter of PHC board appointments at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry. Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid appeared before the court for the hearing.

As the hearing went under way, the chief justice turned to Dr Rashid and remarked, “I had high hopes from you. What kind of people have you included in the board?”

The provincial health minister responded, “The board was formed as per the directives of the Supreme Court and members were named according to the set procedure. The chief minister accorded approval for the appointments.”

Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed, “The institution is a regulator but politics is taking place over there.” The bench further remarked, “The board should be unbiased and independent.”

The chief justice then ordered that a new board be formed comprising esteemed and qualified individuals.

During the hearing, PHC board member Shafqat Chohan informed the court, “Member Hussain Naqvi and Justice (retd) Amir Raza, chairperson of the commission, had a heated exchange which has nothing to do with the other board members.”

“Hussain Naqvi did not ask Justice (retired) Amir Raza to resign from his post as commission chairperson. In fact, Naqvi said he will resign himself,” Chohan added.

Justice Nisar then said, “Where is Hussain Naqvi because of who Justice (retd) Amir Raza resigned?”

When board member Naqvi appeared before the court, the chief justice asked him, “Who are you?” To which, the board member responded, "I was the union secretary of Islamia College."

Justice Nisar in response said, "So then leave the board and run the union.” Expressing anger at Naqvi, the top judge asked, “Why did you misbehave with Justice (retd) Amir Raza?”

Naqvi then pleaded, “Hear me out. I am sorry for raising my voice.” However, Justice Nisar said, “How dare you. We will give you a contempt of court notice.”

The board member responded, “I am 20 years your senior. Hear what I have to say.” Justice Nisar, however, asked Naqvi to apologise which the board member did. The chief justice further ordered, “Take Naqvi out of my court.”

The court then dissolved the PHC board and ordered that a new board be formed within two weeks. The hearing of the case was then adjourned.