On Friday the Sindh High Court (SHC) asked for the comments from the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) on a petition against taking fresh entry test for the admissions in the public medical colleges and universities of Sindh.
Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi—heading a two-judge bench, heard the petition filed by the Pasban Pakistan and the students, who cleared the entrance test held by National Testing Service (NTS) throughout the province Sindh in October this year, but the results were met with controversy as a question paper was leaked a day prior to the test.
The petition was filed by Pasban Pakistan and Haziq Khursheed—a student, they challenged the Sindh government’s decision relating the cancellation of the entry test taken by NTS for medical colleges and universities.
They indicated that two thousand and one hundred students out of the twenty-two thousand candidates cleared the entry tests taken at five different centres. After the results were announced rumours circulated on social media that the question paper was leaked a day before the test was to be taken.
They said that based on these rumours many candidates questioned the validity of the NTS test and brought the matter to SHC. Provincial health department without any authority or orders formed a committee to investigate the matter but it was a matter beyond its scope.
They maintained that to protect the interests of the failed students health department issued another notice cancelling the results of the NTS entry test taken for the government medical colleges and universities.
The petitioners argued that the controversy was a campaign being run with the aid of political influence for destroying the independent process of entry test for private medical colleges and universities as the test taken by NTS do not permit certain political elements from taking money from the applicants.
The petitioners urged that in this situation private medical colleges and universities were enjoying monetary benefits as in such scenario the parents were forced to reserve the seats for their children at private colleges and universities.
Hence the court was persuaded to announce that the Sindh Health department’s announcement relating the cancellation of the entry test was unlawful and should order that the petitioners who cleared the entry test were entitled to get admissions in the public medical colleges or universities.
The petitioners also asked the court to instruct government for developing a standard system for all the medical colleges and universities admission.
During the Friday’s proceedings, the deputy attorney-general asked the court to dispose of the plea as previously the decision has already been taken relating it.
However, Farah Khan—Petitioners’ lawyer pleaded that one issue has been addressed but the second issue relating the negligence on the part of PMDC is yet to be decided.
Advocate Khan said that the PMDC has decided the fee structure, admission criteria and refund of fee and the private medical colleges are not abiding by it.
Ms Khan argued that PMDC is supposed to be active and vigilant on such violations and asked the court to question the top regulatory unit about its carelessness which led to the question paper leak in the first place.
The bench has instructed the PMDC lawyer to submit their comments and the court was suspended until the 16th of January 2018.