ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan yesterday rejected an application seeking shifting of Dr Asim Hussain from a detention centre to hospital for medical treatment.

Zareen Hussain, wife of Dr Asim, on September 30 filed an appeal against the Sindh High Court’s verdict which allowed the Rangers to take his custody.

Deputy Attorney General Sajid Bhatti presented a report of the medical board constituted on the apex court orders. The report said Dr Asim was out of danger and there was no need to shift him to hospital. The court, during the last hearing, had directed the federal health secretary to constitute an independent medical board to ascertain whether Dr Asim should be shifted to hospital or not.

Abid Zuberi advocate, representing Zareen, contended the board had been set up by the Capital Administration and Development Division secretary and not by the federal health secretary.

He said it had been held that the doctors nominated by them would also be included in the board, but it was not done.

Justice Saqib said they had ordered constitution of a board not for the satisfaction of the parties but for their own satisfaction. “We can’t interfere in the SHC order,” he remarked.

The judge said there was no need to keep Dr Asim in the hospital after a satisfactory report by the medical board. He said: “Whenever any high-up is arrested, he immediately files an application in the court that he should be shifted to hospital. This has become a fashion.”

Dr Asim, former federal minister and a close friend of Asif Ali Zardari, was arrested in August this year on the charges of corruption, abuse of powers and facilitating terrorists by the paramilitary force. He was shifted to the National Institute of Cardiovascular Disease on his wife’s application.

However, the Sindh High Court, on the report of Pakistan Rangers, declared that Dr Asim could be discharged from NICVD on the satisfaction of Rangers’ doctors.

Zareen’s petition said the SHC order was not only in violation of well-established practice but also against Article 9 of the Constitution. “Dr Asim was discharged without the consent of the doctors of the hospital as Rangers have arbitrarily removed him from the hospital on the basis of the high court order,” it added.