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July 18, 2019

PHC stays admissions to KP medical colleges


July 18, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday stayed admissions to medical colleges of the province till next order on a writ petition challenging recent changes in the admission policy by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

However, the bench explained that the entry tests for the medical colleges would be held on the due date. It ruled that admissions would be made in the medical colleges after the court’s decision in the petition.

A division bench comprising Justice Musarrat Hilali and Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim issued the stay order on a writ petition filed by a girl student.

She challenged the recent changes made by the PMDC to the regulation meant for admissions to the government and private medical colleges on multiple grounds. The girl believed that it would give an edge to students of other provinces over those of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the admission process.

The bench issued notice to the PMDC and Health Department to submit reply and explain their position on the legal questions raised in the petition at the next hearing on July 30.

The petitioner, Hamayal Waseem Khattak, requested the court through her father Waseemuddin Khattak, who is a lawyer, to declare different provisions of the MBBS and BDS (Admissions, House Job and Internship) Regulation, 2018, which was amended in May 2019, illegal and against her fundamental rights.

She challenged the Clause 20-A of the Regulation, which makes it mandatory for a student to give the order of three preferences for admission from among public sector medical and dental institutions in the province.

Previously, a candidate applying for the admission to a medical college was allowed to give unlimited preferences and was given admission in the relevant college according to the merit. The petitioner requested the court to strike down Clause 6(5) of the Regulation, which removes the restriction of domicile or preferences for the seats of private medical or dental colleges.

The petitioner said she had passed secondary school examination by securing 1,002 out of 1,100 marks before clearing the FSc (1st Year) examination by obtaining 446 marks of 550 marks. She added that she had appeared in the FSc (2nd year) examination, whose results were awaited, and wanted admission to the MBBS course to become a medical doctor.

The petitioner said the PMDC had issued a regulation under the nomenclature MBBS and BDS (Admissions, House Job and Internship) Regulation, 2018, which was amended on May 30, 2019.

She said Clause 6 (1, 3, 4 and 5), Clause 9 (8, 12) and 20-A of the Regulation are without lawful authority and against the spirit of the Constitution. The petitioner said the PMDC had directed the KMU to conduct the test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses in light of the impugned policy.

She claimed that in 2018 the last candidate admitted to the MBBS course in Punjab’s private sector colleges on open merit had the merit score of 72.6192 while it was 89.1082 in Balochistan and 68.66 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The petitioner said the students of KP were not less intelligent than those from other provinces but the difference of merit position was due to the course of studies. Besides, it said the marking system and the paper pattern were different.

She said after introduction of the new policy, no candidate would be considered eligible on merit if he or she hadn’t obtained an aggregate merit score of not less than 70 percent for admission in medical college and 60 percent in dental college. She noted that setting 70 percent aggregate as benchmark amounted to denial of admission to the citizens of this province.

The petitioner feared that under the new policy there would be an influx of students from other provinces to seek admission in medical and dental colleges in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the expense of local students.

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