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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday handed the control of the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Lahore to the federal government, ARY News reported.
An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar announced the split 4-1 verdict, ruling that it is the right of the federal government to build and run the hospital which it said was transferred to the Punjab government without legal process.
“No necessary legal measures were taken for the devolution of the hospital to the province. The 18th Amendment in this regard was misinterpreted,” read the ruling. “Three hospitals and a museum were illegally devolved to the provincial government.”
The apex court directed that the ownership of the hospitals and museum be handed over to the federal government within 90 days. Upon failure, the provincial government may approach the SC for an extension in the deadline for implementation of the order.
Justice Maqbool Baqar, a member of the bench, wrote a dissenting note.
Earlier, on Jan 16, the apex court dismissed an appeal filed by the Sindh government, challenging the Sindh High Court verdict which declared the devolution of the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and other hospitals to the province under the 18th Amendment unconstitutional.
A three judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar stated that the hospitals will remain under control of the federal government.
The provincial government had challenged the high court judgment, contending that after the 18th Amendment was passed, the health department fell under provincial authorities.
“The hospitals are neither part of the federal list nor figured on the concurrent list,” it said, stressing that the JPMC, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) and National Institute of Child Health (NICH) exclusively fell in its domain.
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