The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has submitted a written response to the Sindh High Court (SHC) in petitions challenging corruption inquiry against the administration of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD). The anti-corruption watchdog submitted its response in petitions filed by NICVD director Dr Nadeem Qamar to challenge corruption probe. In its reply, NAB wrote that more than 30 officers had been illegally appointed in the cardiac health facility. It has been clarified that the corruption inquiry is being conducted against the corrupt elements in the institute’s administration but not to target doctors. The Sindh government had disbursed Rs32 billion funds between 2014 and 2020 to NICVD, whereas, Rs15 billion had been dispatched in term of salaries of doctors, officials and employees. On the other hand, a major decline is being witnessed in medical treatment of patients being brought to the hospital, whereas, annual increments are consistently being given by the administration. The institution said that corruption could not be permitted in the name of medical treatment. The NICVD administration violated SPPRA rules and awarded contracts to blue-eyed persons. The anti-graft watchdog pleaded the SHC to dismiss the plea as the petitioner hides facts from the court besides levelling baseless allegations against NAB. The NAB’s reply stated that a complaint had been received against Dr Nadeem Qamar in 2016 and the anti-graft watchdog sought records from 2014 to 2019 from the NICVD administration. The NAB chairman had approved conducting an inquiry again in August 2020 and wrote a letter to the Sindh health department to appoint a focal person. However, Sindh chief secretary did not take any action in this regard. In its reply, NAB complained about facing delay in concerned records of NICVD by the provincial health department. It added that an inquiry officer along with two other officials had visited NICVD but hundreds of employees surrounded them outside the office and started raising slogans against NAB. The petitioner moved to the court instead of cooperating with the NAB investigators, whereas, the records provided two months after the issuance of a call-up notice was inaccurate, it said. Earlier in December last year, the administration of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) had moved to the Sindh High Court (SHC) after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) initiated an investigation into corruption allegations. Back in November last year, three doctors of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) had moved to the Sindh High Court (SHC) for interim bail following the call-up notices issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is inquiring about the matters of alleged corruption and illegal appointments in the NICVD.
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