Former SHC judge to head probe into Amal Umer’s death


ISLAMABAD: A former Sindh High Court (SHC) judge has been assigned to head the committee formed by the apex court to probe the death of 10-year-old Amal Umer, who lost her life after being hit by a stray bullet on the eve of Independence Day.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the case where an NMC representative and Amal’s parents — Umer and Beenish — were present.

As the hearing went underway, CJP Nisar picked Justice (r) Arif Khilji to lead the probe as the provincial advocate general informed the Supreme Court that measures have been taken for the formation of the committee.

The court was also informed that the procedure of private hospitals when dealing with emergency cases needs to reassessed and added that Sindh’s inspector general of police has also taken steps to address the issue.

During the hearing, the CJP said, “There should be a trauma centre in all government and private hospitals,” adding that “the hospital did not even provide adequate first aid. Why should we not investigate the hospital? Where is the owner of the hospital?”

At this, the top judge was informed that the hospital’s owner was travelling. The CJP then remarked that an investigation can also be launched against the hospital.

Amal’s mother, Beenish, informed the apex court that the hospital had asked her to transfer the injured 10-year-old to a vehicle. However, the hospital claimed otherwise. She also termed the hospital’s version of the event a lie.

“They even wrote the wrong time of death in the records,” Beenish informed the court.

Beenish’s lawyer also prayed upon the court to ensure that IG Sindh is not part of the investigation team.

Moreover, during the hearing, the administration of National Medical Centre (NMC) claimed that it did not refuse treatment to the 10-year-old Amal, adding that her parents wanted to shift her to another facility. However, Amal’s parents maintained their earlier stance that the hospital had refused to treat their child.

Declaring the hospital’s statement a ‘pack of lies’ the deceased child’s father said, “The hospital administration insisted that we shift Amal to another medical facility.”

“When we requested the hospital to let us borrow its staff and artificial respiration equipment, it refused to do so,” he further stated.

Expressing his anger at false claims of the hospital, the chief justice admonished the NMC representative. “You are a doctor, why do you need to lie?” Justice Nisar remarked.

The court then ordered to constitute a committee headed by Justice Khilji Arif Hussain. Furthermore, it summoned a report on the matter within two weeks and adjourned the hearing.

The committee will include former Sindh inspector general AD Khawaja and a member of the district bar.