Kingship system prevails in Punjab: Justice Nisar
13 March, 2012
LAHORE: Declaring that a kingship system prevailed in Punjab where people were removed and appointed on the rulers' whims, the Supreme Court on Monday said it would itself determine the amount of compensation to be paid by a medicine company to bereaved families if its role in the deaths of heart patients at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) was established.
Chief executive officer and director of one of the accused companies, Muhammad Abdullah Feroze, appeared before the apex court and informed the court that their factory had been closed since the issue surfaced even though the responsibility of their company was not established so far since the investigation was still in progress.
However, Justice Jilani asked him if he was ready to pay compensation to the families in case the role of his company was established. His counsel replied that the Punjab government had announced compensation for them. At this, Justice Saqib Nisar, the other member on the bench, asked if the compensation announced by the Punjab government was enough for the death of a 23 years old patient. He said in case the role of his company was established, the court would not let him adopt the conventional law for compensation but would invoke its power to issue him directions to pay the compensation which the court would itself fix.
Counsel for the company denied the companyís responsibility in causing the deaths. The court directed him to file his written reply by March 16, the next date of hearing.
Another application related to this matter was fixed before the court, challenging the removal of Dr Muhammad Athar, former head of the PIC. On his behalf, Advocate Ameer Alam Khan submitted that his client was hard working and dedicated to his profession but was unceremoniously removed after the death of about 130 patients.
The court issued a notice to the Punjab government for a reply in the case. The order was received by Additional Advocate General Faisal Zaman Khan who was present in the court. The court also asked the AAG what the Punjab government had done about the compensations. The AAG replied that the government had announced compensation and it would be paid soon.
At the last date of hearing, the court was informed that 48,000 persons were affected by spurious medicines and 150 had died.
Online adds: The Supreme Court has sought a report from doctors on deaths due to use of contaminated medicines at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), Lahore.
The suo moto hearing of the case was resumed in the Supreme Court, Lahore Registry. The two-member bench, comprising Justice Tasaduq Hussain Jilani and Justice Saqib Nisar, heard the proceedings.
PICís former Medical Superintendent, Dr Azhar, submitted an application pleading the court that he was dismissed from service without his version being heard. Justice Saqib Nisar expressed his resentment over the state of affairs in Punjab, saying that a kingship system prevailed in the province.