Dissolution of PMDC through ordinance challenged in IHC

Updated October 31, 2019

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President Dr Arif Alvi has recently promulgated an ordinance which has left the PMDC dissolved. — PMDC website/File
President Dr Arif Alvi has recently promulgated an ordinance which has left the PMDC dissolved. — PMDC website/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday admitted for regular hearing a petition against dissolution of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

The court issued notices to the secretaries to the president, cabinet division and law and health ministries, chief commissioner, attorney general and the president of the newly established Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) and adjourned the hearing till Nov 8.

President Dr Arif Alvi has recently promulgated an ordinance which has left the PMDC dissolved and paved the way for the establishment of the PMC.

Moreover, the national health services ministry through the Islamabad district administration and police took over the possession of the PMDC building and informed its 220 employees that the office would remain shut for one week.

Islamabad High Court issues notices to cabinet secretary and others for Nov 8

The registrar of erstwhile PMDC, retired Brig Dr Hafizud Din, and 31 employees moved the IHC, stating that an act of parliament gave powers to the government to dissolve the PMDC, but its president, vice president and the executive committee would stay intact till the appointment of newcomers after the elections which were to be held within one year.

Moreover, the federal government was authorised to appoint an officer, not below the rank of BS-20, as an administrator to head the executive committee. The administrator and the executive committee were to exercise powers of the council till the constitution of a new council, the petition said.

According to the petition, the Supreme Court had last year set the criteria for promulgation of an ordinance.

It said: “The Senate of Pakistan on August 29, 2019 after due deliberation on the provisions of the Ordinance and voting…disapproved the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Ordinance 2019; however, the President of Pakistan has again promulgated the identical provisions of the PMDC Ordinance 2019.’’

The petition said that the services of the PMDC employees were terminated without giving them a proper opportunity of hearing. It expressed apprehensions that the newly formed PMC may hire the services of new employees against the sanctioned and contractual positions through other mode after issuance of advertisement which would jeopardise the vested rights to serve council’s previous employees.

It requested the court to declare the ordinance for establishment of the PMC as unconstitutional and in the meanwhile allow the erstwhile PMDC employees to continue work in the newly formed commission.

Published in Dawn, October 31st, 2019