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Lahore

December 8, 2017

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High Court declares PMDC illegal

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday nullified present composition of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) as well as subsequent 2016 regulations for admission to MBBS and BDS, opening a door for private medical colleges to revert to their old policy of holding admission independently.


Setting aside PDMC for being illegal, a division bench led by Justice Ayesha A Malik and comprising Justice Jawad Hassan directed the federal government to hold the PMDC fresh election within three months in light of the council’s 1962 ordinance. The bench allowed the PMDC present cabinet to run day-to-day affairs only until the lawful composition of the medical profession regulator.


It also directed the Council of Common Interest (CCI) to review admission policy as the previous regulations enforced by the PMDC were not approved by the CCI. The bench restored 2013 regulations enabling the private medical colleges to conduct admissions independently.


The court issued the order while accepting a number of petitions moved by students and private medical colleges challenging the PMDC composition and retrospective implementation of its regulations “Central Induction Programme” of 2016.


The bench had reserved the verdict a week ago which it announced Thursday. Reading out the operative part of the judgment, Justice Malik said the PMDC had been working under an amended ordinance of 2015, which stood lapsed and had not been approved by the parliament so far. Therefore, being an unlawful entity all the regulations introduced by the council became illegal.


“Sections 9 (c), 7, 8 and 11 of the impugned regulations are hereby struck down,” the judge continued to read the judgment. Advocates Ijaz Ahmed Awan, Ahsan Bhoon and Abid Saqi had represented the appellants while Noshab A Khan pleaded on behalf of the PMDC. Ahsan Masood advocate represented private medical colleges.


The appellants’ counsel had mainly contended that the impugned regulations were framed by the PMDC when its amendment ordinance, 2015 had already lapsed in April 2016 by dint of Article 89 of the Constitution. Therefore, they said, the regulations 2016 were unlawful and without backing of any law besides being ultra vires to the Constitution as well as PMDC Ordinance, 1962.


Against the implementation of the regulations, the lawyers said the PMDC implemented the new regulations retrospectively instead of prospectively from academic sessions of 2020–21 protecting and exhausting all the ongoing sessions.


Lawyers of the petitioners argued that law had been settled on the point that executive’s actions could not have retrospective effects, taking away vested rights of individuals/citizens. They said the drastic changes introduced in the impugned regulations regarding the eligibility criteria for SAT-II students caused extreme frustration as well as it discouraged a large number of aspiring candidates.


The counsel asked the court to set aside the 2016 regulations of the PMDC for being unconstitutional and uncalled for. They sought directions for the respondents to protect future and vested fundamental rights of the petitioners and other students seeking admission to MBBS. They also wanted the division bench to strike down a decision by a single bench that dismissed their writ petitions.

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