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Tuesday June 18, 2024

SC moved to probe surge in fee of medical colleges

By Our Correspondent
April 24, 2024
A paramilitary forces vehicle patrols along a street past Supreme Court in Islamabad on April 5, 2022. — AFP
A paramilitary forces' vehicle patrols along a street past Supreme Court in Islamabad on April 5, 2022. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking the formation of an inquiry commission to investigate the sudden increase in medical college fees from Rs5-6 lakh to Rs9,50,000 and then to the present fee of Rs22,50,000.

Advocate Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, naming the federation of Pakistan through the secretary of the cabinet division as respondents.

He requested that the apex court direct the federation to establish a commission of inquiry under the Commission of Inquiry Act 2017 to probe the sudden increase in medical college fees.

The petitioner also requested that the commission identify the elements or officials who are discouraging foreign MBBS and BDS degrees from foreign medical colleges by different means.

According to the petitioner, he had filed a constitutional petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution in 2017, but it was returned by the Registrar’s Office. He then filed a civil miscellaneous appeal, which was dismissed by the chief justice of the time, Justice Saqib Nisar.

However, after the dismissal, the chief Justice issued a fresh order in a pending application of 2010, resulting in a sudden increase in medical college fees.

The petitioner alleged that private medical colleges took advantage of the Supreme Court’s judgment and increased their fees from Rs5-6 lakh to Rs9,50,000, and then to the present fee of Rs22,50,000 per annum.

He further alleged that some colleges are even charging an extraordinary amount as a donation for fresh admissions.

The petitioner submitted that the increase in fees has made quality education unaffordable for many, and people are being exploited in the name of education.

He requested the Supreme Court take notice of the situation and establish a commission of inquiry to investigate the matter.