The confrontation between the federal government and the PMDC is on its way and it seems as if both the parties are not ready to reach a situation of compromise at all. While the employees of PMDC had succeeded in getting an order from IHC on Monday in their favor that had ended up in restoration of PMDC and its employees including the Registrar, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) in return has used its trump card by filing an application in IHC pleading that the appointment of the current Registrar, Brig (R) Hafizuddin Siddiqui was made under an outdated law and requested the court to declare the said appointment null and void.
The Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar filed the said application in IHC on Wednesday along with evidential documents to support their claim. This is important to know that the said step has been taken in a time when the medical staff (including doctor and paramedics) is fighting at the frontline against the fatal outbreak of Corona Virus. The development has made their regulatory authority (PMDC) hang in the balance.
The development hanged a sword of uncertainty on the heads of doctors and paramedics
Just to recall, the President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi had promulgated an ordinance on October 19, 2019 announcing that the PMDC had been dissolved and the new body was going to be established with the name Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC). The Ministry of Health on the very next day, took up the charge of the PMDC building and simple informed the 220 employees about the termination of their services with immediate effect. Moreover the said building of PMDC was handed over to PMC so as to establish the offices of its three major departments “The Medical and Dental Council, “National Medical and Dental Academic Board” and the “National Medical Authority” (Secretariat).
Later the employees of PMDC filed a petition in IHC requesting the honorable court to look into the matter and provide them justice. On 11th February, 2020 Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani while declaring the presidential ordinance null and void, ordered the restoration and reinstatement of the PMDC and its employees. The Ministry remained unmoved and this made the employees file a contempt of court case in IHC against the government. On 30th March, 2020 the court strictly ordered the government to unseal the PMDC building and hand it over to the Registrar and this time the Federal government complied with the orders of the honorable court however just after a couple of days the Secretary Health filed an application through Additional Attorney General challenging the appointment of the Registrar.
“We request the court to review and revert the 30th March order”, says NHS Secretary
The application read that the appointment of the Registrar was made under the provision of PM&DC Ordinance II of 2019 that was cancelled and repealed on August 29, 2019 on the basis of a resolution that ended up at its disapproval from the Senate. Since the appointment was connected to the above said ordinance, the repeal automatically resulted in termination of Registrar and therefore in the light of law, “Brig Siddiqui is no longer the Registrar PMDC w.e.f August 29, 2019”, NHS Secretary pleaded
He finally requested the court to review and revert its 30th March order that had allowed Brig Siddiqui to assume his office.