SC rejects Dr Asim’s appeal for transfer to hospital

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by former federal minister Dr Asim Hussain seeking transfer to a hospital from the detention centre where he was being kept in Rangers custody, for his alleged involvement in corruption cases.

A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Sarmad Jalal Usmani, was hearing a petition filed by Dr Asim’s family members against his discharge and transfer from the government hospital.

At the last hearing on October 9, the apex court had ordered the constitution of an impartial medical board to check the former petroleum minister’s health status, and asked for it to submit its report within two weeks.

During the hearing of the case on Wednesday, Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that there was no need to keep Dr Asim in the hospital after the satisfactory report by the medical board.

The court rejected the complainant’s appeal, and ruled in favour of the earlier order by the high court.

Dr Asim Hussain was arrested from his office in Karachi On August 26, and later remanded into Rangers’ custody for 90 days. According to the Rangers, he is being investigated for his alleged involvement in money-laundering, ‘china-cutting’, and illegally issuing licenses for unlawful CNG stations across Sindh.

Dr Asim, who also owns a private medical university and hospital in Karachi, is considered a close aide of former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari. He was appointed as the federal minister for petroleum during the PPP government in 2008. He was accused of corruption in LNG and LPG deals and indiscriminately issuing licenses for CNG stations.