Held back: PHC restrains govt from sacking 212 PPHI doctors

Published: June 15, 2016
Peshawar High Court. PHOTO PPI

Peshawar High Court. PHOTO PPI

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court restrained the government from terminating the services of 212 doctors of the People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) and sought a reply from the provincial government.

The restraining orders were issued by two different division benches, one comprising PHC Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Roohul Amin and another headed by Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth. The orders came on writ petitions filed by Dr Riaz and Dr Umer Habib.

Petitioners’ counsels Qazi Muhammad Anwar and Ijaz Anwar appeared before both benches, arguing their clients were recruited under PPHI projects to ensure provision of better healthcare facilities in rural areas.

They said that the petitioners were appointed to different healthcare facilities of the province and were performing well. The lawyer stated the provincial government recently issued a notification, saying the project was closed and their services would not be required after June 30.

The counsels stated that petitioners were providing healthcare facilities at the doorsteps of people in rural areas and their sacking would deprive locals of their basic constitutional right.

They requested that the notification be suspended and an order issued for regularisation of their clients’ services. The bench, after hearing the arguments, stayed termination of their jobs and ordered the government to file its comment by the next hearing on July 14.

NAB withdraws arrest warrant

The National Accountability Bureau on Wednesday withdrew arrest warrants issued against three senior police officers after they assured the PHC of appearing before an accountability court in a weapons scandal case. However, two police officers refused to withdraw their petitions.

When the hearing commenced, Dr Salman, Kashif Alam and Sadiq Kamal appeared before a bench headed by PHC chief justice. They expressed their willingness to appear before the accountability court.

Their counsel, Barrister Mudassir Ameer, said a reference in a weapons scandal case was pending before the accountability court and they were ready to appear before it. NAB’s Deputy Prosecutor General Jamil Saraf said the bureau was ready to withdraw arrest warrants against those police officers willing to appear before the court.

However, Sajid Ali and Abdul Latif Khan’s counsels said that they would consult their clients over withdrawing petitions and inform the court. The court was also told that suspects’ names had been put on the exit control list.

The bench, after hearing the case, disposed of writ petitions filed by Dr Salman, Alam and Kamal and adjourned the case till next hearing.

NAB filed a corruption reference against embezzlement amounting to Rs2.03 billion. The accused included against former chief minister Amir Haider Hoti’s brother, Ghazan Hoti, and the latter’s brother-in-law. Also implicated in the case were former IGP Malik Naveed, former additional IGP operations Abdul Latif Khan, CPO DIG Sajid Ali Khan and ex-DIG headquarters Muhammad
Suleman Khan.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2016.

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