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October 15, 2019

LHC annuls PMDC admission regulations


October 15, 2019

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court Monday struck down admission regulations-2019 by Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) and directed the University of Health Sciences (UHS) to make admissions as per previous regulations of 2018.

Announcing a reserved verdict, Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti allowed several petitions and declared the impugned regulations namely MBBS/BDS (admissions, house job and internship) regulations 2019 ultra vires to the Constitution.

Maleeha Syed and other students having dual nationality had moved the petitions challenging the new regulation for being discriminatory and contrary to their fundamental rights.

Petitioners' counsel argued on behalf of the petitioners and stated that the PMDC introduced amendments to the previous regulation through its ordinance promulgated in 2019 changing the basic criteria of admission for overseas Pakistanis in particular.

They said the petitioners passed their O&A levels examination in Pakistan; however, later acquired dual nationality of different countries. They said the previous regulation gave due weight to performance of students in O&A levels or in regular national scheme of secondary school & higher secondary education.

The counsel pointed out that definition of dual nationality holder, as per previous regulations, was a Pakistani citizen holding dual nationality with valid domicile of Punjab, with pre-medical equivalent examination either from abroad or Pakistan, and having passed SAT-II or MCAT. However, they said, the PMDC through impugned ordinance changed the regulations and criteria for the admission for dual national candidates excluding result of O-level or matriculation in calculation of merit for session 2019-20.

The quota given to the dual nationals having better foreign qualification forming an intelligible class for the purpose of computing merit for admission was also abolished under the impugned new regulations, they added.

The counsel argued that the PMDC unlawfully amended the regulations through an ordinance that was also not approved by parliament. They argued that the impugned regulations could not be applied on candidates who had either already taken admissions or completed their matriculation/O-level before the amendments. They asked the court to strike down the impugned regulations of 2019 for being unconstitutional. However, the judge allowed the petitions and struck down the 2019 admission regulations.

school fee: The Lahore High Court on Monday directed the provincial and district governments to ensure enforcing a verdict by Supreme Court on private schools fee issue in its letter and spirit and also make sure that no student was expelled.

Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi was hearing several petitions moved by parents of students studying at different A-category private schools.

Secretary Schools Education Department Irum Bukhari and other officials were present in the court. The parents also appeared before the court and complained about the mistreatment of their children at the hands of the schools. They said the administration of the respective schools was not allowing their children to attend classes for initiating litigation against the fee increase.

A counsel for the private schools association argued that the fee being received was as per the law. He requested the court to refer the matter to district registration authority, which he said, was the appropriate forum with the representation of parents and the government as well.

Representing the parents, Advocate Azhar Siddique argued that the schools committed contempt by increasing fee in violation of the apex court judgment.

Justice Sethi ordered the secretary and deputy commissioner to ensure implementation of the judgment and take action against the violators. The judge directed the officials to ensure that no student was expelled or mistreated by the schools and submit compliance report on October 16. The judge also issued notice on a contempt petition by the petitioners’ counsel and on another petition questioning collection of fee in US dollars by a private school in Lahore.

The petitioners had contended that it was the responsibility of the state to protect fundamental rights of citizens and education was indeed one of them. They said profits accumulated by private institutions were unreasonable and the state had to act as the regulator to protect the right of its citizens.