By Our Staff Reporter
Peshawar: Issuing a stay order, the High Court of Peshawar has suspended the recent notification by the provincial government of the dissolution of the Board of Governors (BoG) of the Bannu Medical Teaching Institution and the expulsion of its chairman.
A bench consisting of Justice Mussarat Hilali and Justice Sahibzada Asadullah issued a notice to the provincial health secretary seeking comments on a petition filed by BoG Chairman Dr Fareed Anwar against notification of 27 October 2020.
The petitioner argued that transport minister Shah Mohammad Wazir, who was a member of the Bannu district, had continually interfered with the Bannu MTI’s affairs and had prevailed over the provincial government to dissolve the governor’s board of governors over unfaithful intent.
Khalid Anwar Afridi, a petitioner’s lawyer, said that his client was a renowned urologist with considerable experience in the field of medicine in the United Kingdom and Pakistan.
He said that after doing MBBS from the Khyber Medical College in 1973, the petitioner did his FRCS in 1990 from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburg, Scotland, and worked in different UK hospitals as a consultant urological surgeon.
The lawyer said that on return to Pakistan, he served in a private hospital for 18 months before he was made a professor of surgery in the Bannu Medical College for two years in 2010.
He said that, on the advice of the Screening and Screening Committee, his client was named as a member of the Bannu MTI BoG by notification on 5 October 2018.
The lawyer added that according to Section 5 of the MTI Act, 2015, the term of office of the private sector BoG members, including the chairperson, should be three years.
He said that his client had been elected president of the BoG due to his excellent results as a member and had been informed on October 21, 2019.
The lawyer argued that after his client became chairman of the BoG, local MPA Shah Mohammad, who was the provincial minister of transport, had begun to intervene in hospital affairs by pressuring him (a petitioner) for the posting and transfer of multiple employees on a political basis.
He said that the lack of confidence and interference in the affairs of the MTI was evident from a letter issued on 4 February 2020 in which the Minister of Transport, despite having no legal powers, nominated an individual, Ihsanullah, as a focal person in the health sector for all health units in the district.
The lawyer said that the minister in question had appeared on the programme on a private television channel and claimed that he was not pleased with the results of the Bannu MTI BoG and had taken up the matter with the Chief Minister, who had agreed to abolish the board early.
He said that before the challenged notification was released, the deputy commissioner for the Bannu district called the petitioner and requested him to stop visiting hospitals because he was no longer the chairman of the committee.
The lawyer said that the Minister of Transport eventually prevailed and the provincial government released the challenged notification that the MTI had been dissolved with immediate effect.
He argued that the dissolution of Bannu MTI was unconstitutional, a product of the personal vendetta of the Minister of Transport and a breach of Article 25 of the Constitution.