ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday issued contempt of court notices to the Secretary Ministry of National Health Services in a petition filed by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Registrar (PMDC) Brigadier (Retd) Hafizuddin Siddiqui and other employees of the council for sealing their offices.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petition and summoned all parties before the court in person on the next hearing and deferred the hearing till March 25.

It was October 19, 2019 when President Dr Arif Alvi promulgated an ordinance which left the PMDC dissolved and paved the way for establishment of the PMC.

Subsequently, the Ministry of NHS sealed the building of the PMDC and informed its 220 employees that their services had been terminated. However, a single bench of IHC declared the presidential ordinance on February 11 as ultra vires to the constitution and restored PMDC and the services of the employees.

Then the ministry issued the direction for sealing the offices of the PMDC on February 13. As a result the reinstated employees were not allowed to enter the offices. Therefore, Advocate Abdul Rahim Bhatti, counsel for registrar and other PMDC’s officials brought these facts to the knowledge of IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. Justice Athar issued notices and later, the case was fixed before IHC judge Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani who authored the PMDC’s judgment.

Meanwhile, the government also filed an Intra Court Appeal (ICA) challenging a single bench’s verdict to restore the dissolved PMDC.

The ICA stated that the impugned judgment dated 11-02-2020 passed by the learned Judge in chamber exercising powers under Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan is without jurisdiction, excess of jurisdiction and hence calls for interference.

It adopted that the impugned judgment suffers from inherent jurisdictional defects and is against the basic constitutional principle of separation of powers and hits the basic structure of constitutions.