Tuesday December 07, 2021

MDCAT 2020: SHC throws out contempt application against PMC

PMC counsel informs court that its orders have been implemented

By Web Desk
November 24, 2020
A two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Arshad Hussain Khan dismissed contempt of court application. Photo: File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday disposed off plea seeking contempt of court proceedings against the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) over its decision to hold the Medical and Dental College Admissions Test (MDCAT) exam on November 29.

The petitioner was seeking contempt charges against the PMC for announcing the exam date without forming the academic board as ordered by the high court earlier.

In today's hearing, the PMC counsel told the court that its orders have been implemented. He also informed the court that the board had reviewed the syllabus.

Following which, a two-member bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Arshad Hussain Khan dismissed contempt of court application.

Separately, Jibran Nasir, lawyer for the petitioner,  said the syllabus was announced after the high court issued a contempt notice to the commission on November 21.

In a tweet, Nasir said the board had green lighted the same syllabus and assured that no out of syllabus question would make it to the test. He added that students can reach out to the court if they are aggrieved with test content.

Case history

Cancelling the November 15 MDCAT exam, the SHC had underlined in its order that since the National Medical & Dental Academic Board had not been formed under the Pakistan Medical Commission Act, 2020, the "MDCAT cannot be conducted".

According to the court ruling, the Board will have "the powers to formulate the examination structure and standards for the MDCAT for approval of the Council".

The SHC had further criticised a notification issued October 23, 2020, by the PMC regarding the syllabus, in which it said candidates would have the option to mark any questions they believed were beyond the syllabus in an objection form to be provided at the examination centre, saying it "created uncertainty and gross confusion and perplexity in the minds of all applicants" and terming it "unreasonable and nonstandard".

"This is quite a unique idea that every applicant will be provided objection form at the time of entering into the examination hall, so first he should be obliged to do audit exercise as to how many questions are out of his syllabus.

"Much time of the candidate would be lapsed and consumed to go through the entire question paper as an examiner and then filling the objection forms.

"No further mechanism has been provided in the above announcement as to how and when the students appearing in the MDCAT will come to know whether objections raised by them were considered and the question considered by them to be outside the identified syllabus have been removed from scoring or not."