Saturday December 04, 2021

LHC dismisses pleas against MDCAT procedure

October 23, 2021
LHC dismisses pleas against MDCAT procedure

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday dismissed scores of petitions against the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) procedure followed by the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).

The petitioner-students through their lawyer contended that under the mandatory provision of Section 18 (1) of the Pakistan Medical Commission Act, 2020(PMCA), MDCAT was to be held “on the same day” as “a single admissions test” in order to provide equal opportunity to all the candidates/students. But the PMC held the same under the schedule from August 30 to September 30, which is a sheer violation of Article 4 of Constitution and the Section 18 (1) of the PMCA.

They pointed out that those students who were asked to appear in the beginning of September 2021, found only one month for the preparation of the said “entry test” whereas those who appeared in the end of September 2021, got two months for the preparation which was discrimination in contravention to Article 25 of the Constitution.

They said previously the MDCAT was conducted across Punjab “on the same day” as “a single admissions test” and the same question paper was given to all the students which eliminated chances of discrimination.

They requested the court to cancel the MDCAT, reschedule and direct the authority concerned to hold it on the same day as required by Section 18 of the PMCA2020. The PMC through its counsel questioned the maintainability of the petitions and said the petitioners had the right to file review before the commission. He argued that bare perusal of the Act made it clear that the expression “single admission test” in Section 18 referred to the fact that every student would only be allowed to appear in and sit for one MDCAT in a year.

He pointed out that Section 20 of the Act clearly stated that the examination shall be held at least twice a year. He said the entire argument of the petitioners regarding construction and interpretation of Section 18 was flawed.

Dismissing the petitions, Justice Jawad Hassan observed that the petitioners had failed to make out a case for interference by this court. He held that no illegality had been found in applying the rules, regulations and the Act during the entire process of the MDCAT 2021-22.

However, the judge observed that the petitioners might file their review (s) before the PMC for redress of their grievance till Oct 29. The judge also directed the PMC to decide the reviews, if filed, strictly in accordance with law within a period of one week from its filing.