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Illegal PMDC running medical affairs: LHC

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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court recently declared that the present composition of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) is illegal, thereby also nullifying PMDC’s 2016 regulations for admissions to MBBS and BDS in medical colleges.

The division bench that passed the order comprised of Justice Ayesha A. Malik and Justice Jawad Hassan. The bench simultaneously allowed a number of appeals moved by students and private medical colleges challenging the composition of the PMDC and retrospective implementation of its regulations regarding the “Central Admission Programme” of 2016.

Private colleges are now free to admit students under 2013 policy

Justice Malik announced that the PMDC had been working under an amended ordinance of 2015, which stood lapsed, therefore PMDC categorizes as an unlawful entity and all the subsequent regulations introduced by the council were illegal.

LHC orders fresh election for PMDC in 3 months

“Sections 9 (c), 7, 8 and 11 of the impugned regulations are hereby struck down,” said Justice Malik while reading out the judgment.

The bench directed the federal government to hold fresh election of the PMDC within three months in light of the council’s 1962 ordinance. The bench allowed the present cabinet of the council to run day-to-day affairs only till the lawful composition of the medical profession regulator.

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The bench also informed that Council of Common Interest (CCI) is to review admission policy once more, as the previous regulations enforced by the PMDC in 2016 were not approved by the CCI. The bench restored 2013 regulations enabling the private medical colleges to conduct admissions independently.

Advocates Ijaz Awan, Ahsan Bhoon and Abid Saqi had represented the appellants while Noshab A. Khan pleaded on behalf of the PMDC.

The plaintiffs’ counsel had mainly vied that the disputed 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 for 2016 were unlawful and without backing of any law besides being ultra vires to the Constitution as well as PMDC Ordinance, 1962.

Regarding the implementation of said regulations, according to the lawyers the PMDC implemented these regulations retrospectively from the academic sessions 2020-2021, protecting and exhausting all ongoing sessions.

They said that the extreme changes introduced in the disputed 2016 regulations regarding eligibility criteria for SAT-II students had further caused extreme frustration as well as discouraged a large number of aspiring candidates.

The court was therefore requested to set aside the 2016 regulations of the PMDC for being unconstitutional and unwarranted and framed unlawfully.

December 8, 2017

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