Accepting the petitions of four medical colleges, Peshawar High Court declared the National Accountability Bureau’s inspection and investigation of varsities illegal. It said only Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC) had the authority to conduct such enquiries.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Muhammad Daud Khan announced the judgment on Thursday.
International Medical College and Women Medical College in Abbottabad, and Jinnah Medical College and Al-Razi Medical College in Peshawar had approached the high court against NAB.
Earlier, on July 23, 2014, PHC restrained NAB from conducting an inspection of Al-Razi Medical College and Jinnah Medical College.
NAB had issued a notice to these medical colleges on July 14, 2014 titled ‘Provision of information under sections 19 and 27 of NAB Ordinance 1999 for enquiry against officials of PM&DC, owners/management of illegal medical and dental colleges in K-P and others.’ The bureau said its team would conduct the inspection to determine facts. The college managements were told to remain present on July 26 and cooperate with the team. Abdul Rauf Rohail, counsel for the two medical colleges, told the court in the previous hearing that under the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance 1999, NAB can only demand information on an issue but cannot inspect anything.
The petitioners had contended NAB continued its enquiry against 19 medical colleges in the country after it received a letter from Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination, which is against the rules of PM&DC. During a previous hearing, Deputy Prosecutor General Azim Dad told the bench they had started the enquiry against these medical colleges because they did not fulfil the criteria necessary to be considered a medical institution.
The court on Thursday announced its judgment in favour of the colleges, and declared NAB did not have the authority to conduct enquiry against these colleges.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2015.