LAHORE: A Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Thursday, setting aside 2016-central admission policy for medical and dental colleges, allowed private colleges to directly grant admissions to students in the light of the 2013 admission policy.
The bench further declared formation of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) illegal, but directed the incumbent council to look after the administrative affairs till the fresh elections.
The bench ordered the federal government to hold the PMDC elections within 90 days, and directed the Council of Common Interests to review present rules for admission and frame new ones within six months.
The bench also declared A-level students eligible for admissions to medical and dental colleges on the basis of SAT-II examination.
The bench, headed by Justice Ayesha A Malik, passed the orders while allowing petitions filed by private medical colleges and students challenging central admission policy, and MDCAT condition. The bench had reserved its verdict on November 30 and it was announced Thursday in the open court.
Advocate Ejaz Ahmad Awan, representing the students, submitted in his arguments that the PMDC suddenly changed the admission policy in 2016 and allowed admissions on the basis of MDCAT basis only, whereas a ban was imposed on admissions to medical colleges on basis of SAT-II exams.
He submitted that the petitioner students had qualified A-level and SAT-II, but they were not being considered by private medical colleges for admissions due to a ban imposed by the PMDC. They pleaded with the court to issue directions to private medical colleges for entertaining their applications on the basis of 15 per cent quota, reserved for overseas Pakistanis.
The counsel for private medical colleges submitted that under new central admission policy, the PMDC had barred private medical colleges from granting admissions to the students in MBBS and BDS programmes directly while the rules made for admission had not been presented before the Council of Common Interests for debate on these rules.
They submitted that all admissions to the public and private medical colleges were being made by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) under the central admission policy. They pleaded with the bench to set aside the ban and the petitioner colleges should be allowed to grant admissions to students directly.They also requested the bench to declare the formation of PMDC illegal as the Ordinance concerned had lapsed.
However, PMDC’s counsel submitted that private medical colleges were not authorised to seek applications directly from students, as per new policy. He submitted that the UHS would process the applications of students for admissions to private colleges and admissions would be granted on merit.
He said that private colleges were barred from making admissions directly due to the reason that they granted admissions to students on the basis of donations, instead of merit. He said that the current policy was introduced to ensure admissions of students to private medical colleges on merit. He said that the UHS had sought applications from students for admissions to 34 medical and dental colleges across Punjab. He pleaded with the bench to dismiss the petitions challenging the ban. – APP