Notices issued to attorney general, Sindh advocate general
The administration of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases has approached a Karachi court to stop the Federal Investigation Agency from launching an investigation into its funds.
A petition was filed in the Sindh High Court Thursday morning. The hospital authorities said the FIA has been interfering with their work and should be stopped. The hospital is already being investigated by NAB.
The court issued notices to the Sindh advocate-general and attorney-general.
The court asked if the NICVD is being run by the Sindh government or the Centre.
The administration said it is a provincial organisation, adding that NAB has already been harassing its staff and they want the FIA to be stopped from doing the same.
The FIA investigating officer has been summoned with the inquiry records at the next hearing.
Dr Tariq Sheikh, a former staff officer at NICVD, has filed an application to become a respondent in the case. He had written to the Sindh chief secretary about alleged embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, misuse of power and rampant corruption in the NICVD.
He said he had informed NICVD Executive Director Professor Dr Nadeem Qamar of the irregularities that had caused losses in billions over the last four years.
Officials had been embezzling funds and donations through 27 bank accounts, Shaikh had alleged. Some of them were even promoted to BPS-19 and 20 within six months of their appointment in the NICVD.
The NICVD, which was inaugurated in 1963, treats people with heart diseases in Pakistan. According to its website, it is the ” first tertiary cardiac care institute in South Asia as well as the flagship facility for cardiology in Pakistan.”
On October 29, a NAB team raided the hospital for the third time. The raid was reportedly conducted over an inquiry into employees being given salaries in advance and the purchase of medicines and medical equipment.
The hospital operations were suspended temporarily and many patients suffered because of it.
The team first went inside the office of the hospital’s executive director, Nadeem Qamar. It even investigated the employees working in the finance and HR departments.
The bureau’s team was reportedly in the HR office for four hours questing COO Azra Masood. All the while, the people from the HR department were standing outside the office. The hospital authorities said that they have already given NAB all relevant records.