ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday declared quota for daughters of government officials in the MBBS programme at Fatima Jinnah Medical College Lahore illegal.

IHC Chief Justice Mohammad Anwar Kasi said rather than admitting students on quota system, the college must fill seats through competitive process.

The court issued the verdict on a petition filed by Dr Mohammad Aslam Khaki, which challenged the admission of daughters of government officials on 67 seats of the MBBS programme through the quota system.

Dr Khaki argued that the college offers admissions on 267 seats in the first year of the programme every year through a competitive process. But, he said, the college administration had over the years begun converting seats from an open merit to a quota system, and was presently offering 67 seats to be filled through the quota.

He said the college administration may have increased the number of seats if it wanted to accommodate relatives of government officials, but the conversion of merit-based seats into a quota system was tantamount to depriving eligible students from their right.

Representing the federal government, Deputy Attorney General Fazlur Rehman Khan Niazi challenged the locus standi of the petitioner, arguing that he was not aggrieved by the quota-based admissions.

Mr Niazi adopted that the introduction of a quota system was a policy matter that could not be brought before the court for adjudication.

The court disposed of the matter, stating that students earlier might not be affected, but restrained the college from filling seats through a quota system.

Published in Dawn, June 15th, 2016