Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJ) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday prohibited private medical colleges from charging more than Rs642,000 in fees and warned them of a complete shutdown if any discrepancies are found in their accounts.
"The poor man's child also wants to become a doctor but can't due to a lack of resources," he added during a suo moto hearing on the matter of private medical colleges' exorbitant fees.
"You are charging Rs642,000 in fees — we have to look into that," the chief justice told owners and chief executives of private medical colleges after they submitted their affidavits and account details on court orders. "You will have to return the excess amount, if found any. If any medical college is found charging even a rupee more, then it will not bode well for them."
The chief justice further said: "Now we will get to understand the science of medical colleges, and if a fault is found, then we will shut down all the private medical colleges and universities. No medical college will now be allowed to register."
Chief Justice Nisar also criticised the medical college industry's admission policy and passing-out criteria, saying: "Private medical colleges do their own marking and pass their students themselves. There should be a uniformed admission policy and one merit. We will not let admissions take place on the basis of donations and money."
The CJP also formed a constitutional committee that will visit all the medical colleges in Pakistan.
In a previous hearing, the court had restrained all unrecognised private medical colleges from carrying out admission. “If any admission is made by these colleges, their chief executives or administrative body shall personally be held responsible for violating the order of this court,” the chief justice had said.
The CJP had also warned that an inquiry would be conducted if any attempt was made to mention the admission even in back dates.