Punjab Healthcare Commission to select new board within two weeks


— Chief Justice Nisar orders PHC board member Naqi out of court for raising his voice in front of top judge

LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday dissolved the Punjab Healthcare Commission’s (PHC) Board of Commissioners and directed for the formation of a new board within two weeks.

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid appeared before a special bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar at the SC’s Lahore Registry, .

The chief justice turned to Dr Rashid and remarked, “I had high hopes from you. What kind of people have you included in the board?”

The provincial health minister responded, “The board was formed as per the directives of the Supreme Court and members were named according to the set procedure. The chief minister accorded approval for the appointments.”

Justice Ijazul Ahsan observed, “The institution is a regulator but politics is taking place over there.” The bench further remarked, “The board should be unbiased and independent.”

The chief justice then ordered that a new board be formed comprising esteemed and qualified individuals.

During the hearing, PHC board member Shafqat Chohan informed the court, “Member Hussain Naqi and Justice (r) Amir Raza, chairperson of the commission, had a heated exchange which has nothing to do with the other board members.”

“Hussain Naqi did not ask Justice (r) Amir Raza to resign from his post as commission chairperson. In fact, Naqvi said he will resign himself,” Chohan added.

Justice Nisar then said, “Where is Hussain Naqi?”

When Naqi appeared before the court, the chief justice asked him, “Who are you?” To which, the board member responded, “I was the union secretary of Islamia College.”

Justice Nisar in response said, “So then leave the board and run the union.” Expressing anger at Naqi, the top judge asked, “Why did you misbehave with Justice (r) Amir Raza?”

Naqi then pleaded: “Hear me out. I am sorry for raising my voice.” However, Justice Nisar said, “How dare you. We will issue you a contempt of court notice.”

The board member responded, “I am 20 years your senior. Hear what I have to say.” Justice Nisar, however, asked Naqi to apologise which the board member did. The chief justice further ordered, “Take Naqi out of my court.”

The court then dissolved the PHC board and ordered that a new board be formed within two weeks. The hearing of the case was then adjourned.