CJP censures govt over closing hospitals

Justice Gulzar questions Zafar Mirza's qualification as national health chief 

By: News Desk      Published: 02:03 PM, 6 Apr, 2020
CJP censures govt over closing hospitals

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Monday censured the government over the strategy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and observed that all the hospitals and clinics should be functional.

Criticising the decision to shut the hospitals and their OPDs as well as dispensaries in Islamabad for other patients to focus on those infected by coronavirus, the chief justice said nothing had been done practically as the government officials were only "playing meetings-meetings".

“Protecting the people’s rights is our (judiciary's) responsibility,” he added

What kind of medical emergency has been imposed when even the private hospitals and clinics are shut, he remarked.

The chief justice passed these remarks while heading a five-member bench which was hearing a petition against the high courts’ orders to release the prisoners.

He observed that the Federation was doing nothing and the entire focus was on ration, as the people had already been locked in their homes, depriving them of their livelihood.

When the chief justice mentioned a report submitted by the human rights ministry which mentioned that the Peshawar High Court (PHC) had ordered releasing 3,200 prisoners, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocate general replied that there had been some misunderstanding as the PHC did not pass any orders on the subject.

As the attorney general told the court that they were ready for a briefing on the subject, the chief justice remarked that they had already seen the action plan and what would be new in the briefing.

He also asked about the qualification and capabilities of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Zafar Mirza and observed that he was being [over] projected [on media].

The chief justice observed that they [the government] was making the people adopt the habit of taking money, as he cited the affairs in the Pakistan Steel Mill, PIA and Karachi Shipyard, adding that everyone was receiving salary but doing nothing.