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High court sets aside removal of top KTH bosses.

PESHAWAR -- The Peshawar High Court has set aside the recent removal of the medical and hospital directors of Peshawar's Khyber Teaching Hospital by the health department and also restored the hospital's board of governors suspended by it in Dec.

The court had suspended on Dec 12, 2018, a notification regarding the appointment of members to the BoG of KTH, one of the leading public sector hospitals in the province, over a petition filed by Prof Mustafa Iqbal of the KTH Department of Ophthalmology, and temporarily assigned the board powers to the health secretary.

A bench consisting of Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Mussarat Hilali declared politically-motivated some postings and transfers made by the secretary while exercising powers of the BoG, including removal of the hospital medical and hospital directors, and recalled its interim order issued on Dec 12 for the purpose.

Also orders restoration of members of hospital's BoG

'The intention of this court was never to confer unfettered powers on the secretary, to make politically motivated transfers, appointments and adjustment of various staff of the hospital including the Medical Director and Hospital Director, as such we are constrained to withdraw our interim order dated 12.12.2018 and 22.1.2019,' the bench ruled.

The court fixed Feb 12 for next hearing into the petition.

The petitioner has challenged the Oct 5 notification for the constitution of the BoG terming it a violation of a Supreme Court order.

While the removal of the medical and hospital directors was ordered in Jan and the issue was not placed before the bench, the court set aside that order of the secretary.

The bench ordered that the impugned notification of Oct 5, which was suspended by the court on Dec 12, was restored and the removal of hospital director as well as medical director of KTH by the government was set aside.

'Although the same are not challenged herein but in order to streamline the function of the KTH and to block all kind of political intervention, transfer postings made by the respondents (secretary health and dean of Khyber Medical College) in the garb of interim order of this court dated 12.12.2018 are set aside. The status of the BoG of KTH and its employees were restored as it was on 11.12.2018,' the bench ruled.

KP advocate general Abdul Lateef Yousafzai argued that as the court had conferred power upon the secretary health on Dec 12 to perform the function of the suspended BoG and therefore, not only the secretary health, but also the dean, who as competent authority to appoint, transfer and adjust various doctors in the KTH, had acted in accordance with Medical teaching Institutions Reforms Act, 2015 and no exception could be taken in this regard.

The bench observed that the chairperson of the BoG of any MTI in case of the exigency of service could appoint various officials within the MTI but could not readjust or transfer the already appointed dean, hospital director, medical director, nursing director and finance director without fulfilling the required procedure.

It ruled that all appointments, transfers, postings, adjustments made by the health secretary since Dec 12 were without jurisdiction.

The petitioner has also challenged the appointment of Prof Noorul Eman as dean of Khyber Medical College, which is part of KTH, a medical teaching institute.

He told the court that the appointment of Noorul Eman as KMC dean and Dr Ibrar Hussain as chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology went against the relevant rules.

He prayed before the court to direct the government to remove the KMC dean from the post as the inquiry report, which was conducted on the orders of the Supreme Court, had declared his appointment illegal.
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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Feb 9, 2019
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