LHC restores PMDC’s 2019 admission regulations


LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) division bench on Friday restored medical colleges admission regulations 2019 framed by the (now-defunct) Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) and allowed to proceed with the admission process.

“The 2018 regulations are restored to their original amended form. Consequently, the competent authority can proceed with the admission process as per the 2018 regulations,” the bench held.

The bench comprising Justice Ayesha A Malik and Justice Jawad Hassan passed the orders while allowing intra court appeal filed by the PMDC against the judgement of a single bench which set aside the 2019 regulations and ruled that the PMDC had not been vested with any power under its ordinance 2019 to amend the protected MBBS and BDS (admission, house job and internship) regulations, 2018, on petitions filed by several dual national Pakistanis.

In its 9-page verdict, the bench held that the council had powers to amend the 2018 regulations. “Section 49 of PMDC Ordinance 2019 grants special permission to the new council to alter, repeal or modify the existing regulations,” it added.

The court further ruled that the respondent-students were not entitled to any foreign seat quota under the 2018 Regulations as they were admittedly students who had studied for their O Level and A-Levels in Pakistan and for the purposes of their Secondary School Education and 12th-grade examination, they did not reside abroad.

The bench noted that the respondents’ contention that the amendments came as surprise to them was total without basis as the amendments were publicized in June 2019 whereas the petitioners filed the petitions in September after getting their MDCAT result.

Earlier, in his final arguments, the PMDC’s counsel assailed the single bench verdict and argued that as per provisions of PMDC Ordinance 2019, the council had the authority to amend the 2018 regulations.

He submitted that 70,000 students participated in MDCAT examinations but only four challenged the amendments. They challenged the amendments after being failed to qualify on merit, he added.

The court was further apprised that the foreign quota seats were available for those dual national or overseas Pakistani, who were residing permanently in a foreign country and passed their 12th-grade examination or equivalent from outside Pakistan and at the time of admission was a resident of a foreign country.

However, counsel on behalf of the respondents argued that the PMDC did not have the powers to amend the 2018 regulations. The power to amend, modify or repeal regulations was missing in the PMDC ordinance, therefore, the council was not competent to validly amend or modify the admission regulations, he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that the division bench had on Oct 21 suspended the single bench verdict and allowed temporarily to proceed with the admission process.