PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has directed the Pakistan Medical Commission and federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to respond to a petition seeking orders for domicile restriction for admission to private sector medical and dental colleges in the province.
A bench consisting of Justice Syed Arshad Ali and Justice Mohammad Naeem Anwar fixed Jan 14 for the next hearing into the petition filed by Laiba Javed and 33 other students seeking several reliefs from the court related to the Admissions Regulations (Amended) 2020-21, which provides for the centralised admission policy for the public and private medical and dental colleges in the country.
The petitioners requested the court to direct the provincial government to exercise its executive power to declare that only students of the province will be given admission to the local private medical and dental colleges on the basis of domicile and overall merit.
They also challenged Clause 18 of the regulations to the extent of 20 per cent interview marks for admission to private colleges, requesting the court to declare it unconstitutional.
High court asks PMC, govt to file response
The petitioners prayed the court to direct the government and PMC to give admission to students on the basis of the overall merit and ensure that the restriction of 60 per cent passing marks in the MDCAT test should not be a hindrance to admission in the province’s medical colleges.
Advocate Waseemuddin Khattak appeared for the petitioners and contended that the PMC had issued the Admission Regulations (Amended) 2020-21.
He said Clause 16 declared that domicile restriction may be imposed by the provincial governments of the province for only in private medical and dental colleges and not in public sector colleges.
The lawyer contended that if 100 per cent domicile restrictions were not imposed by the KP government, automatically most of the seats would be occupied by the students from Punjab and in future, the province would face shortage of doctors.
He pointed out that there was a huge difference between FSc exam marks of Punjab and KP students, which could be proved from results of position holders of educational boards in the two provinces.
The lawyer claimed that in Punjab, they had marks mostly in range of 1080-1090, whereas in KP education boards, only toppers mostly had marks within range of 1040-1050.
He said according to tentative list issued till now, KP had only 208 students with 90-plus aggregate, while 6349 students in Punjab had 90-plus aggregate.
The lawyer said Clause 18 of the Regulations provide 20 percent marks for interview in private colleges, which was against the law as there were no interview marks for taking admission in public sector colleges.
He claimed that giving 20 percent marks for the interview in the private sector would also open flood gate for corruption and bribery in shape of donations, etc.
The lawyer said even the regulations allowed a province to impose restriction of domicile and therefore, the provincial government was bound to protect interest of students of the province.
He said after the devolution of the health ministry to the provinces under the Constitution (Eighteenth amendment) Act, 2010, the PMC should be under the administrative control of the Inter-Provincial Coordination Ministry, so it (PMC) had no authority to issue any rules or policy with respect to medical education of KP.
Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2021