ISLAMABAD - SHAHID RAO -

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued notices to Secretaries of Establishment Division, Ministry of Capital Administration and Development and Ministry of Law and Justice in a petition challenging an Act enacted and notified to establish Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Islamabad.

The IHC judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui also issued to other respondents including Secretary Ministry of Education and Training, Secretary Finance Division, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, Executive Director Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and three others.

Besides issuing them notices, the court also sought comments from the respondents within a fortnight in a petition moved by Dr. Altaf Hussain Qureshi Joint Executive Director PIMS and six other petitioners.

The seven petitioners jointly moved the court through their counsel Muhammad Shoib Shaheen and challenged the Act notified to establish Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical (SZABM) University Islamabad.

In the petition, they contended that respondent No 10 Dr Riaz Ahmad Warraich (who was illegally appointed ED PIMS) and respondent No 11 Dr Amjad Chaudhary Associate Professor of Paeds Surgery PIMS in connivance with Secretary Ministry of CAD and with political manoeuvring by respondent No 9 former minister for CAD Nazar Muhammad Gondal could manage the preparation and passage of bill for establishment of SZABM University.

They added that the same bill has been enacted and notified on March 23, 2013 as Act No. XV of 2013 to establish the aforementioned university.

They further added that this impugned act is defective, ultra vires, directed towards personal benefits instead of public good, with ulterior motives and mala fide and also undermining the national pride and integrity.

The petitioners maintained that this impugned act is causing serious and permanent disadvantage to the service of PIMS employees and leading towards permanent loss to the legal right for health services of the citizens of Pakistan envisaged in the Article 38 of the Constitution.

They continued that the name of PIMS starts with Pakistan and it has its constituent college QPGMC with the name of Quaid-e-Azam while with the implementation of the impugned Act, the names of Pakistan (PIMS) and Quaid-e-Azam (QPGMC) will be placed under the name of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (SZABMU).

"This is clearly against the national integrity and pride and as such not acceptable to the nation as depicted in the news items," they added.

They further added that the impugned Act is person specific which cannot be promulgated as it is promoting injustice among the employees of PIMS and citizens of Pakistan hence it is liable to be set aside.

They argued that the act is violative of Articles 4, 25 and 27 of the Constitution of the country and thus promulgated in derogation of fundamental rights as envisaged by the Article 8 of the Constitution, is void ab initio and does not create any legal right.

Petitioners are of the view that the provisions of the said act are clear violation of the terms and conditions laid down in the Civil Servant Act 1973 as it has varied the terms and conditions of petitioner No 1 to 4 and all other employees of PIMS to their disadvantage.

Therefore, they prayed before the court that the impugned Act No XV of 2013 may be declared ultra vires to the Constitution and be declared as unconstitutional and nullity in the eye of law.