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November 28, 2020

SHC dismisses plea against two medical admission tests

Karachi

November 28, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday dismissed a petition seeking the cancellation of two separate entry tests for admissions to medical and dental colleges and universities. The high court, however, directed the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) to ensure that all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic announced by the government shall be strictly followed in letter and spirit.

The petitioners, Syed Ahmed Maaz and others, had submitted in the petition that the PMC issued an official announcement for the medical students appearing in the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) that the examination shall be held on two separate dates. The petitioners stated that this was a violation of the law.

Their counsel Jibran Nasir submitted that the PMC had announced in the advertisement that one test would be held on November 29 for those students who were not suffering from Covid-19 while the other test would be held on December 13 for those students who were declared positive for Covid-19 during the previous two weeks.

The counsel submitted that the impugned decision was a violation of the PMC law under which only a single MDCAT examination could be held. It was submitted that the subject examination should be held simultaneously for all the applicants so that there should be one yardstick for judging the performance of all the applicants and awarding marks to them.

He submitted that holding the examination on two different dates would affect the criteria for judging the performance of the applicants and awarding marks to them would not be same. He suggested that the examination of such candidates be held on two different venues on the same date.

The PMC’s counsel, Zeeshan Abdullah, submitted a statement on behalf of the commission and said that the decision to hold two tests was made keeping in view the increase in the number of Covid-19 patients and well-being of the students. He also filed supporting documents with regard to the decision of the PMC in connection with the separate examination for the students who had contracted Covid-19.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar, after hearing the arguments of the counsels, dismissed the petition for the reasons to be recorded later on. The high court, however, directed the PMC to ensure that all the SOPs in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic prescribed by the National Disaster Management Authority and health ministry were strictly followed in letter and spirit by the students, invigilators and all persons/staff present at the examination centres during the subject MDCAT examination.