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SC surprised over the number of medical boards for Dr Asim

15 July, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Friday expressed its surprise over the number of medical boards constituted to examine Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Karachi president Dr Asim Hussain.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, was hearing a petition for the removal of Dr Hussain's name from the Exit Control List (ECL) and another petition from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), requesting the cancellation of his bail. Dr Asim had been granted bail on medical grounds by Sindh High Court (SHC) on March 22.

NAB Special Prosecutor Nasir Mughal told the court that 10 medical boards had been constituted for Dr Asim Hussain. "Though all of the doctors believe that Dr Hussain does not need surgery abroad, no one is ready to testify against the PPP leader," he said.

He said that none of the hospitals in Karachi was ready to medically examine Dr Asim Hussain and submit a report. "Three major hospitals refused to provide medical treatment [to Dr Asim] when contacted by NAB, stating that the required facilities were not available at the moment. The facilities were mentioned on the websites of these hospitals," the NAB prosecutor told the bench.

He said that Dr Asim Hussain used to come on a wheelchair for court appearances. "However, he immediately started participating in political activities after he was granted bail," he said.

However, Dr Hussain's lawyer, Latif Khosa, said that senior doctors had been part of the medical boards that had examined Dr Hussain. "They were constituted on the court's orders. Whatever has transpired so far is no less than a nightmare for Dr Asim," he said.

Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan said that if a medical board was constituted for any given prisoner, diseases such as tension and depression were bound to show up as almost everyone suffered from them.

Justice Khan hinted at the formation of a new medical board consisting of expert doctors from all the provinces. However, Khosa argued that such a medical board would give the impression of discrimination. "It is also unprecedented that someone was examined by 10-boards," Justice Khan replied.

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