SC appoints ex-judge to run kidney and liver institute

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, be appointed chairman of the ad hoc committee to manage and run the affairs of the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI), Lahore.

The court also appointed Prof Dr Jawad Sajid, former professor at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lt Gen Shahid Riaz (Engineer), Saifullah Chattha (Nepra member) and Khusro Pervez Khan (former secretary) members of the committee.

In July, the apex court had placed Dr Saeed Akhtar, the head of PKLI, on the Exit Control List after it learnt that Rs100 million was being spent on monthly salaries of the employees but not a single kidney or liver transplant had been conducted at the institute.

In July, the court learnt that Rs100 million was spent on salaries without a single kidney or liver transplant being conducted at the facility

The committee, which can co-opt any financial expert, has been tasked to immediately take over the PKLI’s administration and make the hospital fully functional and operational as soon as possible after removing defects, installing equipment and putting all support services, including relevant staff through competition and transparency.

The committee will also ensure that the hospital provides specialised medical and surgical services at affordable rates for which it was originally conceived and visualised.

The order stated that other members of the committee would be paid a monthly stipend for their services, the amount of which would be determined on the next date of hearing after four weeks.

The court also suspended the PKLI board.

According to the SC order, the control of PKLI, its assets, properties, accounts and all relevant books and record should be handed over to the chairman of the ad hoc committee within five days. The committee will submit its report within 30 days. The chairman may convene as many meetings of the committee as he may deem appropriate. However, it will meet at least once in two weeks.

School fee hike

In a separate development, a three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, will start hearing from Oct 4 the cases related to fee hike by private educational institutions by clubbing together all the petitions pending in the apex court, the Lahore High Court and the Sindh High Court.

The court also ordered its office to issue notices to private schools.

Both high courts are seized with petitions moved by the private schools as well as the parents against fee hike.

The chief justice also took suo motu notice of dysfunctional Board of Governors of the University of Health Sciences (UHS), Lahore, and fixed the matter for Wednesday with notice to the advocate general and health secretary of Punjab.

As per media reports, the UHS administrative crisis has reached alarming level due to the absence of its chairman of the Board of Governors (BoG), affecting the fate of over 50,000 students.

Under the UHS Act, all the financial and administrative decisions require approval of the BoG.

Meanwhile, the chief justice took notice of the death of 10-year-old girl, Amal, by firing at a traffic signal in Karachi.

Amal, along with her parents, was on way home. When they stopped at a traffic signal, a robber mugged them at gunpoint. The robber went to the car next to them and while they were waiting for the signal to turn green, one of the shots fired hit their windscreen and another hit Amal in the head.

Later, it transpired that the girl was hit by the bullet fired by police at the robber.

The court fixed the case for Sept 25.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2018

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