ISLAMABAD: After the handing over the administrative control of Karachi three major hospitals to the federal government a few days ago, the Supreme Court on Thursday also handed the ownership of Lahore’s Sheikh Zayed Hospital to the centre.
A five-member larger bench in a majority decision ruled that the Centre reserves the right to build and run hospitals. The ruling effectively handed over the ownership of Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Lahore to the federal government.
The verdict was announced on a majority of 4-1. The larger bench was headed by headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.
The verdict said that the management of the Sheikh Zayed Hospital was transferred to the Punjab government without due legal process. The court ruled that the 18th Amendment’s interpretation in this regard was wrong as the Centre had the right to build and run hospitals.
The verdict added that no law can stop the transfer of this hospital to the Centre. It added that there should be a balance between the powers of provincial and federal government.”
A member of the bench Justice Maqbool Baqir wrote a dissenting note.
It is to be noted that the health subject was completely devolved to provinces with all federal hospitals and other institutions under the 18th constitutional amendment.
Concerns are being raised over the recent court decisions and the ministers’ talks against the landmark amendment to the constitution, which greatly empowered provinces with administrative and financial powers.
On Thursday, PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari raised concerns over the recent SC decision to handover Karachi’s Jinnah Postgraduate Hospital, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases and National Institute of Child Health.
He termed it a conspiracy against the 18th amendment.