PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa advocate general to submit decision of the provincial cabinet, which it would take in its scheduled meeting today (Thursday) about the controversy of ‘massive irregularities’ in the recently held Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test.
A PHC bench consisting of Justice Abdul Shakoor and Justice Syed Arshad Ali adjourned hearing of around 85 petitions filed by scores of candidates, having multiple prayers, till 3pm Thursday with observation that the matter was of immense importance and the court didn’t want to waste any further time in deciding the matter.
Several of the candidates have sent applications to the high court’s Human Rights Cell, seeking the test’s cancellation over ‘massive irregularities’. Those applications were converted into petitions by the court.
Similarly, several of the candidates, who have achieved high marks in the test, have filed petitions, requesting the court not to cancel the test, held on September 9, and direct the respondents including Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), Khyber Medical University (KMU) and Education Testing and Evaluation Authority (Etea) to declare the results.
PHC adjourns hearing of around 85 petitions till 3pm today
When the bench took up for hearing the petitions, the KP advocate general, Aamir Javed, requested the court to adjourn the hearing as he was going to attend an important meeting of apex committee. He stated that provincial government had been taking the issue of alleged irregularities in MDCAT very seriously and had convened a cabinet meeting today (Thursday) having only a single point agenda of the said test.
He said that the cabinet would take decision about the fate of the MDCAT in the light of report of a joint investigation team (JIT) constituted by the home department. He stated that the decision of the cabinet would be conveyed to the court.
The bench wondered why the government had been delaying the matter and wasting precious time of students. The bench observed that it won’t allow wastage of further time of students.
It is pertinent to mention here that high court on September 15 stopped KMU and Etea from uploading the results of the test till further order.
Scores of students were arrested after being caught red-handed using modern electronic gadgets for cheating in the test. Several of the candidates alleged that use of unfair means, including electronic gadgets, tainted the test.
They claimed that the respondents had allowed several of the candidates to use modern devices in the test and thus, facilitating them to cheat and use other unfair means.
The candidates alleged that the test was conducted in such a manner that it gave undue advantage to those students, who were allowed to use modern technology, so they didn’t expect that the results would be fair and transparent.
The petitioners, who have achieved good marks, said that they were successful in the test because of their hard work and cancellation of the test would be injustice to them.
They stated that as the government had already arrested the prime suspect and his accomplices, therefore, they should be interrogated to know as to who benefitted from unfair means.
It merits a mention that the additional chief secretary (home), Abid Majeed, had constituted a high level joint investigation team (JIT) for looking into the alleged MDCAT irregularities.
The JIT was tasked with probing complete facts of the matter, the planners and perpetrators behind the attempt of use of sophisticated communication equipment for unfair means, the complicity, if any, of any government servant, any organised racket behind it, legal action to be taken and proposals on avoiding such attempts in future, according to a notification.
Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2023