LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday issued notices to the federal government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on a petition challenging an ordinance that made it mandatory for the elected representatives to take oath within 60 days after the poll to avoid disqualification.

Farid Adil, a lawyer by profession, filed the petition, pleading that president had unconstitutionally promulgated the impugned ordinance to amend the Election Act 2017 and set a time limit for taking oath by the parliamentarians-elect.

The petitioner argued that the Constitution did not provide any limit and the introducing such restriction through an ordinance was against the basic spirit of the Constitution. He asked the court to set aside the impugned ordinance and the amendment to the Election Act for being unconstitutional. He also asked the court to suspend the ordinance until the final decision of the petition.

Justice Jawad Hassan observed that apparently the federal legislative list had given no power to the federal government to fix the time period for oath-taking of a member of an assembly.

The judge also remarked that legislation through ordinances in the presence of the assemblies was unreasonable. He said the questions raised in the petition were serious and needed consideration.

The judge sought replies from the respondents within a fortnight.

MDCAT: The Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a notice to the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) on a petition seeking cancellation of the ongoing Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) for not being held on the same day.

Advocate Agha Intizar Ali argued, on behalf of a student, Hadia Khalid, that the petitioner appeared in the MDCAT but had to face several complications and illegalities during the test.

The counsel said the petitioner could not secure desired result despite being an exceptional student. He contended that under the mandatory provision of Section 18 (1) of the Pakistan Medical Commission Act, 2020 (PMCA), the MDCAT was to be held on the same day as a single admissions test in order to provide all the candidates with an equal opportunity. However, the counsel added, the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) held the test under the schedule from Aug 30 to Sept 30, which was a violation of Article 4 of Constitution and the PMCA.

He pointed out that previously when the MDCAT was conducted across the province ‘on the same day’ as ‘a single admissions test’ the same question paper was given to all the candidates, which purged the possibility of discrimination.

The counsel asked the court to cancel the MDCAT result, reschedule it and hold it on the same day as required by the law.

Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabbir sought reply from the commission within a week.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021

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