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Supreme Court Hears SMC 1 of 2012

Islamabad: A three member bench headed by the Honourable Mr. Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani and comprising other two members namely Honourable Mr. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Honourable Mr.Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the SMC 1 of 2012.

Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq Attorney General of Pakistan, Mr. Ashtar Ausaf Ali, Advocate General, Punjab, Mr. Jawad Hassan, Additional Advocate General, Punjab, Mr. Nadeem Hasan Arif, Secretary Health, Punjab, Mr. Javed Iqbal, Inspector General Police, Punjab, Mr. Azam Khan, Direction Legal, FIA appeared in court today.

Learned Advocate General, Punjab submitted that taking note of several deaths of patients under treatment in Punjab institute of Cardiology, the Chief Minister Punjab had constituted an enquiry committee headed by Mr. Najam Saeed, Chairman, Chief Minister’s Inspection Team and seven Professors of different Medical Colleges in Lahore.

In terms of the report submitted by the Committee, copy of which was being placed on record of the Court today, he added that certain consignments of drugs were received by PIC at certain stages, but the same were returned and never consumed. The committee’s report, in so far as cause of deaths is concerned was inconclusive.

Adding that the committee, after submission of report, is no longer functioning and instead on the request of the Provincial Government, the Chief Justice, Lahore High Court, Lahore has appointed a Tribunal of Inquiry to ascertain the cause of deaths/ailments; to determine if any such case is related to the drug administered and procured from the PIC, Lahore; if the drug reaction is established as the cause of death and ailment; to determine the source, manufacturing, processing, storage, dispensing and dosage of such drug; to fix responsibility to lapses at each stage and to make recommendations for averting such like incidents in future. He lastly submitted that no Doctor or owners of any pharmaceutical company was arrested on the direction of the Provincial government.

Mr. Azam Khan, Director Legal, F.I.A. submitted that three cases were registered with regard to the deaths in PIC and those are F.I.Rs No. 7,8 and 9 of 2012, Police Station, F.I.A., Lahore. Three owners of pharmaceutical companies namely Ch. Muhammad Waseem, Ch. Nadir Khan and Dr. M. Tahir Azam were arrested.

He added that although the cause of death of the patients in question is still not known, yet afore referred cases were registered on the complaint of Federal Drug Inspector under sections 23/27 of the Drugs Act 1976. Further added that the FIA was not aware of para (ii) of order of this Court dated 30.1.2012, in terms of which it was directed that persons arrested shall be released on personal bonds.

However, he undertakes that except Ch. Muhammad Waseem, The owner of pharmaceutical company, manufacturing drugs without a valid license, the other two would be released, subject to their furnishing personal bonds to the satisfaction of the Deputy Registrar (Judicial), Lahore High Court, Lahore.

Learned Attorney General for Pakistan submitted that although in terms of Article 270-AA (6) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the subject of health has devolved upon the Provinces, yet the enforcement of Drugs Act partly continues t be within the ambit of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and therefore, the cases were registered.

He assured that on or before the next date of hearing, the investigation shall be finalized or an interim report would be submitted by the FIA in this regard. So far as alleged arrest of Dr. Jaffar Saleem, medical Superintendent, PIC as concerned, he submitted that FIA never arrested him as per information provided to him. However, he shall submit a detailed report about the factual aspects on the next date of hearing. The case was adjourned to 06.02.2012 with observation that Tribunal of Inquiry shall, however, proceed with the inquiry.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001
Email: pro_scp@yahoo.com

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