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Influential lives in hospitals, poor inmates deprived of tablets: CJ SHC

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Chief Justice Sindh Court Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh on Tuesday remarked that poor inmates are deprived of tablets to cure fever whereas influential ones are accommodated in the city’s hospital.

He passed these remarks, while hearing a bail plea of Ali Raza, the National Bank of Pakistan’s former president and his accomplices.

The court was informed that Ali Raza was admitted in hospital and his medical condition demanded that his bail plea should be accepted. The counsel of accused further submitted that medical board has suggested him complete rest.

On this chief justice inquired as on whose directives was the medical board formed? The influential ones when sent to jail lands in hospital for accommodation, he said. Chief Justice, then, adjourned the hearing directing both prosecutor and counsel of accused to present more arguments on next hearing.

Earlier in august this year The Frontier Post reported that Shahrukh Jatoi, convicted murderer of Shehzeb Khan, a Karachi youth killed in December, 2012, lived in one of the Karachi hospitals instead of jail.

According to official letter from Hasan Sahito, Superintendent Karachi central jail, listing inmates accommodating in different health facilities of the city, Shahrukh Jatoi, son of the landlord, who had killed son of police officer, lives at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

The letter reveals that Jatoi and his accomplices had never lived in cell reserved for death row prisoners.

According to official, influential parents of Shahrukh have told the court that their son was suffering from depression in jail and needed proper medication in a hospital. For this purpose, the jail authorities have been heavily bribed, according to reports.

Further, under trial prisoner at the central jail, Salman Abro, the son of a police SSP who, along with his guards, killed Suleman Lashari on Khayaban-e-Shamsheer in May, 2014, lives in a ward of the National Institute of Cardio Vascular Disease (NICVD).

Moreover, two senior police officers, Police AIG Fida Hussain Shaikh and his SSP Tanvir Ahmed Tahir, who were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a Rs50 million corruption case, also live at the JMPC and NICVD.

This phenomenon is, however, not new.

While both prisons of Karachi present a gloomy picture of tormented prisoners being jailed there, the well-off under trial prisoners and convicts, especially those having political backing, have found in a private hospital in the upper-class Clifton neighborhood a best and luxurious accommodation, The Frontier Post ad revealed in its report published on 30th September 2013.

Three VIP rooms at the third and fourth floor of the hospital, owned by a former PPP minister, were occupied by persons accused of huge corruption. However, the police took two of them, namely Moeen Shaikh and Javed on last Thursday evening, ending their prolonged and comfortable stay.

According to hospital sources Moeen Shaikh was using the room no-2006 at third floor for more than two years while Javed was being accommodated in room no 417 at fourth Floor. Though the exact date of his admission could not be known, a doctor in the facility told on the condition of anonymity that Javed was living there for several months.

The hospital record shows that Moeen Shaikh was advised for hospital observation by his consultant Dr Asif Farooqi, a senior physician in the hospital’s Clifton branch.

When this scribe contacted admission and discharge department of the hospital, the front desk staff on duty informed that daily charges of room no 2006 at third floor were Rs 9000 while the one at fourth floor could be acquired at Rs 10,000 per day. An estimate of his stay suggests that Shaikh might have paid from 8 to 10 million only as room charges to the facility.

Moeen Shaikh, sources said, was produced before the anti-corruption court in Karachi on Friday, 27 September but it could not be known whether he was granted bail or sent to Jail on judicial custody. He, however, had not turned back to the hospital till Sunday evening.

Adnan Zaman who was arrested for the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) payment of about Rs 60 Crore to fictitious and bogus exporters under the garb of 25 per cent freight subsidy, managed to get room no-2007 at third floor on 18 June 2013, just weeks after his arrest and is enjoying this facility for the last over hundred days despite serious graft charges.

The 54 years old Zaman was referred by his consultant Dr Faisal Memon of the said hospital. According to hospital’s statistics he had either paid to hospital or was liable to pay Rs 936,000 as room charges only till the filling of this report.

When The Frontier Post inquired about the average stay under medical observation an admission department official told that it was two to three days. He further told that there could be serious cases with prolong stay but their major chunk of time is spent in ICU. The patient, gone in Coma is exception, he said.

Dr. Mirza Tasawar Baig, assistant professor and a spokesman for the Ziauddin Medical University insisted that patient could be retained for years in case of chronic diseases. He, however, showed his ignorance regarding the three cases in question, guessing there might be solid grounds to put the accused under medical observation for long time.

The Frontier Post tried to contact the concerned consultants but the phone number of both Dr Amir Farooqi and Dr Faisal Memon were switched off.

According to rule and procedures the jail authorities writes to home department, requesting for the transfer of under trial prisoner to hospital, informed senior lawyer advocate Gandapur, who further stated that the home department then refers him to one of the services hospitals, which determines to which hospital he should be sent.

 

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