SZPGMI’s new chief barred from assuming charge


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday restrained the new chairman of Shaikh Zayed Federal Post Graduate Medical Institute (SZPGMI) from assuming charge and issued notices to the cabinet secretary and other respondents for submitting their replies in a case challenging the appointment.
A single bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan resumed hearing of a case filed by Professor Dr Muhammad Saeed of Shaikh Zayed hospital Lahore against the appointment of incumbent Chairman Professor Zafar Iqbal.
The petitioner contended that he was appointed as the chairman of the hospital in 2001. Later on, the government removed him from the position; however, he was reinstated on the intervention of court.
The Federation of Pakistan through the cabinet division secretary, the board of governors of the hospital and professor Zafar Iqbal were made respondents by the petitioner who maintained that he was again removed from the post and the government chose a junior doctor Dr Anwar A Khan as his replacement.
Through his lawyer, the plaintiff maintained that he filed a case in the Supreme Court, which directed the authorities to send his (petitioner) promotion case. However, he said the board of governors listed three junior doctors, including Dr Anwar A Khan, to review the promotion case.
Dr Saeed further claimed that the selection board while ignoring merit recommended Dr Anwar A Khan’s name for the chairmanship. Subsequently, the Cabinet Division forwarded the case to the prime minister who approved Dr Anwar’s name in 2009.
However, the petitioner contended that he once again challenged the appointment after which the court directed the hospital administration to appoint a new chairman within four months. But Dr Anwar died during the said period. Later on, the hospital’s board of governor and the Cabinet Division, according to petitioner, while ignoring merit, appointed Dr Zafar Iqbal as chairman on temporary basis, he added.
The petitioner said the hospital administration in June 2011 advertised the said posts and he also submitted his credential for the post.
The petitioner’s lawyer said a total 10 applications were received out of which five, including his client and Professor Zafar Iqbal, were short listed. He said after the completion of interviews, the Cabinet Division under the government rules was bound to send the matter to the Establishment Division for scrutiny of the entire matter but, the lawyer claimed, the Cabinet Division while bypassing Establishment Division directly referred the case to the prime minister to cover-up the anomalies left in the selection procedure. And on June 18, 2011, the prime minister approved the name of Professor Zafar Iqbal as the chairman of Shaikh Zayed hospital.
The petitioner prayed to the court to declare the notification null and void. He also requested court to direct the authorities concerned to appoint him as the chairman of said hospital as he was one of the most senior doctor and fully qualified for the said post.
After hearing arguments, the court issued a stay order in favour of the petitioner and adjourned the hearing for an indefinite period.


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