LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has set aside a decision of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) regarding cancellation of admissions in several private medical and dental colleges for session 2020-21.
The PMC had taken a plea that the admission process for the respective medical colleges were tainted, in contravention to the admission regulations and that the interview process was non-transparent. The commission said it received complaints about irregularities in the process of admissions.
The students had challenged the decision pleading that on the basis of a general order, their rights with respect to admission in medical colleges had been prejudiced and they had not been heard by the PMC before making the impugned decision.
They argued that the decision of the commission for the new admission process not only jeopardised their educational career but also amounted to wasting their time as the academic calendar for the current year for MBBS/BDS professional examination ends in December 2021.
Justice Ayesha A. Malik had already suspended the impugned decision of the PMC through a short order on May 7.
In her detailed judgement released on Friday, the judge observes that the PMC neglected to decide upon the complaints and instead formed a general opinion of irregularities which it had been attempting to defend before the court.
“It is clarified that even if the objective of the PMC is to retain transparency and merit, it has attempted to do so in a manner that it is not authorised under the law,” states the verdict.
The judge notes that although PMC asserted that merit and transparency are necessary and it is in order to attain merit and transparency that this exercise has been undertaken, the manner in which the PMC has been attempting to resolve the problem is in contravention to its own 2020 and 2021 regulations and in negation to the authority it can exercise under the PMC Act.
The judge remarks that the PMC should have addressed each and every complaint on its merit, passing a specific order with respect to the basic complaint against the respective college, which order would be appealable before the medical tribunal.
Allowing the petitions, the judge set aside the impugned decision of the PMC, however, observed that the commission can take necessary action against the colleges in accordance with the 2021 regulations following due process.
Advocates Safdar Shaheen Pirzada, Mian Ismatullah, Altaf Hussain Bajwa and Shakeel Pasha represented the students.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2021