LAHORE – The Young Doctors Association (YDA) on Monday raised objections to transfer and posting of their two senior colleagues, who were allegedly behind the 20-day strike that claimed 20 lives.

YDA counsel Raja Zulqurnain raised objections with Lahore High Court (LHC) judge Justice Ijazul Ahsan during the hearing of a writ petition seeking quashing of a murder case registered against eight doctors.

Zulqurnain said the government had been taking stern actions against doctors and it had transferred two senior doctors, Tariq Salahuddin and Javed Akram, over the issue of strike.

On Thursday, the Punjab government removed Post Graduate Medical Institute Principal Prof Dr Salahuddin; while on Friday, Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Prof Dr Javed Akram was transferred and posted as technical adviser on medical education in the Health Department. However, the judge told the lawyer to limit his arguments to the writ petition.

The court directed the accused to approach the court of first instance for the confirmation of their bail and made investigation officer bound to record their statements.

Government’s lawyer Faisal Zaman told the court that LHC on last hearing had granted ad-interim bail to four arrested doctors. He pointed out and their bail matter might be transferred to court of first instance (a sessions court) as three other doctors nominated in the case got a pre-arrest bail from the court of an additional sessions judge.

He argued that it would prejudice if the LHC kept on hearing the bail matter while others’ bail was pending with the sessions court.

He argued under the law, the LHC and sessions court got concurrent jurisdiction in bail matters but it would be appropriate to send it to the court of first instance.

About progress in investigation, he said the investigation officer cleared Dr Adil Mansoor Bajwa of the charge while the other three doctors had not joined the investigation. He pointed out that Dr Suleman, one of the eight nomination doctors in the FIR, had neither obtained bail from a competent court nor joined the investigation.

The lawyer said since the medical board constituted to conduct post-mortem on the boy showed inability to determine the cause of death, the case had been referred to the Punjab Chief Chemical Examiner.

The judge remarked that the law would take its course.

The YDA counsel said they had made several attempts to join the investigation but the officer did not cooperate. The court directed the six accused to join the investigation at 6pm on Tuesday (today) and ordered the investigation officer to remain present in police station at the time.

Deferring the hearing until July 25, the court ordered the doctors, who were granted bail by LHC, to approach the sessions court in five days to seek bail.