LAHORE: The Supreme Court has termed the performance of the Punjab government as the ‘worst’ and summoned record of different cases, including alleged corruption in 56 companies, non-availability of clean water and bad condition of hospitals in the province.
The two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, was conducting hearing of different cases at the SC’s Lahore Registry on Saturday.
During the hearing, the chief justice remarked that the situation of hospitals had not improved despite spending billions of rupees.
CJP Nisar said, “People are not being provided proper healthcare. They are falling sick.”
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The court expressed its resentment over the advocate general and chief secretary for not presenting the report on 56 companies.
The bench remarked, “NAB is not being provided with the record, but this is the Supreme Court. Public interest suffers by corruption and the SC will take action in such cases.”
The court asked as to how many billions of rupees had been paid as salaries and who would be responsible if the government changed in the upcoming elections?
Minister for Health Salman Rafiq was also present in the court.
The court said that every hospital they visited was in a bad condition.
CJP Nisar expressed resentment when Salman Rafiq requested the court to cooperate and grant him time to improve the condition of hospitals.
The court remarked that it was the cooperation of the court that it visited hospitals. “Your people object to it. I shall not praise unless there is improvement. Go and bring the chief minister so that he can see what is happening here. [The] CM works a lot because of which he has fallen sick. You do not work properly and demand praise,” said the CJP. “Mr Secretary Health, your performance is very low. Where have you come from?”
The secretary replied that he came from Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park to the health department.
The court remarked that it was running in loss. “How much damage did you do there? Is your work postings and transfers only?”
The chief justice expressed his dissatisfaction over the report about the situation in the public sector hospitals and ordered that details be published through website. He said that suggestions should be submitted to the health department within 15 days for the welfare of the people.
The court rejected the health secretary’s plea to set up a commission and said that the system should be improved after consulting all stakeholders.
“Let the objections and public suggestions on proposals come and later decision for the commission will be made,” said CJP Nisar.
In a suo moto case about the disposal of hospital waste, the judicial commission presented its report. The report revealed that many hospitals did not have sufficient number of doctors. It further stated that up to 120 bags were sent to an incinerator in Kasur but only 80 were received.
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The commission members were presented wood ashes which were not the remains of hospital waste and none of the government hospital cooperated in the matter.
The Supreme Court called Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, railways secretary and members of the board with audited report for losses of Rs7 billion incurred by the railways.
The CJP observed that the ministry claimed in political rallies that it had turned railways into a profitable organisation while the actual situation was different. Justice Nisar remarked that former Indian minister for railways Lalu Parsad Yadav was an illiterate person but he still made railways a profitable organisation and his theory was being taught at the Harvard University. (Additional input from agencies)