RE A division bench of the Lahore High Court on Monday directed the Punjab government and the University of Health Sciences (UHS) to also allow the students who got 60 per cent and above marks in the FSc examination, appearance in the entrance test for admission to the medical colleges.
The bench comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Chaudhry Shahid Saeed disposing of various petitions declared illegal the eligibility criteria of 65 per cent or equivalent marks in FSc set by the Punjab govt for appearance in medical entrance test. Advocates Muhammad Azhar Siddique, Mian Abdul Qaddus, Nasir Mehmood Qureshi, and Mian Qamaruz Zaman appeared for the petitioners.
In its short order, the court ruled that the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council (PMDC) was the regulatory body and all the medical universities and colleges should follow its guidelines.
The court also directed the Punjab government and the UHS to arrange special entrance test for the students who had secured 60 per cent or above marks in FSc exams, but they could not appear in the test because the test was held prior to the announcement of FSc result.
All students who had appeared in the test held in July were eligible to apply for admission in MBBS in all universities in line with regulations set by the PMDC. The court also declared illegal 60 per cent minimum passing marks set by the UHS and ruled that there would be no passing percentage for entrance test. The PMDC had previously informed the bench that the PMDC had issued unified rules and regulations for entrance test in medical colleges throughout Pakistan. The Punjab government and the UHS were duty bound to abide by these rules. As per PMDC criteria, a student who had passed exams of FSc (pre-medical) and obtained 60 per cent marks, was eligible to appear in the test. But the government overlooked these rules and held entrance test before the announcement of FSc result. The counsel pleaded that result of entrance test be stopped because it would not provide equal opportunities to all students throughout the country. He said under rules set by the Punjab government students who would get 60 or 65 per cent marks would not be able to appear in the test.
The counsel pleaded that the entry tests were being held prior to the announcement of the FSc result which resulted in prohibition of the petitioner to participate in the entrance test. He said the holding entrance test in such a manner was violation of fundamental rights as envisaged in the Constitution and also in clear-cut violation of the mandatory instructions issued by the PMDC.
The counsel further said that all other provinces were having eligible criteria of 60 per cent marks in FSc and passing mark of 50 per cent from in the entrance test. But the UHS and chairman admission board for medical/dental institutions of Punjab without any approval from the PMDC adopted a 65 per cent marks eligibility criteria in year 2009.
He also pointed out that in the same year, the respondents while going a step further and while negating the regulations of PMDC increased the passing marks from 40 to 60 per cent.
Advocate Azhar Siddique had argued for declaring as without lawful authority the criteria for entry test as set by the respondents as well as in conflict with Articles 9, 25, 37 and 38 of the Constitution and violative of the guideline of PMDC.