LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday struck down composition of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) and its 2016 regulations for admission to medical colleges.

A division bench headed by Justice Ayesha A Malik and Justice Jawad Hassan heard the appeals moved by students and private colleges challenging formation of the PMDC, its regulations and the Central Induction Policy 2016.

The bench set aside Sections 9 (c), 7, 8 and 11 of the impugned regulations, holding that PMDC was working under an amended ordinance of 2015 that had lapsed. As a result, the bench said, regulations made by the council also became ineffective.

The bench restored 2013 regulations, enabling the private medical colleges to conduct admissions independently, with directives to the federal government to hold fresh elections of the PMDC within three months. However, the court allowed the present council to carry out day-to-day affairs until lawful composition of a new council.

Also, the court directed the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to review the admissions policy. The CCI could not approve previous regulations made by the PMDC.

Advocate Ijaz Awan, Ahsan Bhoon and Abid Saqi argued on behalf of the appellants, while Advocate Noshab A Khan represented the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council. The appellants’ counsel argued that the regulations made by the PMDC were illegal because the amended ordinance of 2015 had lapsed in April last year by dint of Article 89 of the Constitution. The counsel contended that last year’s regulations had no backing of any law and had been contrary to the Constitution as well as PMDC Ordinance, 1962.

They questioned implementation of 2016 regulations, saying that these rules had retrospective effect instead of prospective from academic sessions of 2010-21.

The petitioners’ counsels had argued that executive actions could not have retrospective effects, taking away vested rights of individuals/citizens as the law is quite clear on the point. They said the amended regulations about eligibility for SAT-II students caused mental agony and deprived many aspiring candidates.

The counsel prayed to the court to set aside the 2016 PMDC regulations for being unlawful and unconstitutional and direct the respondents to protect future and vested fundamental rights of the petitioners as well as students seeking admission to MBBS. They prayed to the court to set aside the decision passed by a single bench that dismissed their writ petitions.

Notices to  govt, Pemra

The LHC issued notices to federal government and Pemra in a petition challenging suspension of transmission of private news channels during operation against Islamabad sit-in.  Justice Ayesha A. Malik was hearing the petition moved by Amina Malik of Civil Society Network.