SC allows recognised private medical colleges to fill vacant seats

LAHORE: A three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Saturday allowed recognised private medical colleges to complete admission process for vacant seats.

However, the court restrained the colleges from charging more than 640,000 as annual fee from students besides linking the admissions with final outcome of the matter.

The bench formed a committee for inspection of Lahore Medical & Dental College and sought a report.

The bench also restrained the Young Doctors Association from calling strikes.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, passed these orders while hearing a suo motu notice regarding exorbitant fees being charged by the private medical colleges, here at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry.

At the outset of proceedings, Barrister Ali Zafar, on behalf of private medical colleges, submitted that the government medical colleges also did not comply with the PMDC requirements and requested the bench to seek details from them as well. He also submitted that some seats were still lying vacant in private colleges and sought permission to fulfil these seats.

However, the bench rejected the request for seeking details from the government colleges, observing that it was not the relevant issue.

The bench formed a committee comprising Advocate Ayesha Hamid, Dr Javed Gardezi, Prof Dr Faisal Masood and others and tasked it to visit Lahore Medical and Dental College and sought a preliminary report within one week.

The chief justice observed that these were not adversarial proceedings and aimed at improving the situation. However, corruption would not be tolerated at any cost, he added.

He also criticised the medical college industry’s admission and examination criteria, saying “Private medical colleges conduct their own exams and pass their students themselves. There should be a uniform admission policy and one merit criterion. ”

Advocate Ayesha Hamid also assisted the bench and apprised it about salary structure of employees of the medical colleges as well as complaints, filed by the parents regarding the exorbitant fees charged by them.

To which, the bench directed private colleges to respond to the University of Health Sciences notices regarding the fee complaints made by the parents.

The bench also sought details from private colleges regarding the number of students who had applied for admissions, admitted and the merit.