LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday provisionally allowed students of SAT-II to submit admission forms to medical colleges to secure admission in the light of criteria prescribed in 2013 regulations of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).

A division bench headed by Justice Ayesha A. Malik and consisting of Justice Jawad Hassan passed the order on several petitions moved by students challenging retrospective enforcement of admissions regulation introduced by the council in 2016.

The petitioners said, according to 2013 regulations, students of SAT-II category were not bound to sit medical and dental colleges admission test (MDCAT) for admission. They also said the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council enforced 2016 regulations without properly notifying the same and this made the MDCAT mandatory for students of SAT-II category.

The petitioners said they prepared their test in the light of 2013 regulations and did SAT to enter medical colleges. However, they failed to get admission after PMDC implemented its new regulations retrospectively instead of prospectively from academic sessions of 2020–21, protecting and exhausting all the ongoing sessions.

They argued that the law had been settled on the point that executive’s actions could not have retrospective effect, taking away vested rights of individuals/citizens. The changes in regulations caused huge problem and mental agony to students, they said. They prayed to the court to declare 2016 regulations of the PMDC null and void for being unconstitutional and unwarranted.

The students asked the court to direct the respondents to protect their future and fundamental rights and other students who want admission to MBBS. They also asked the court to set aside a decision by a single bench that dismissed their writ petitions. The court adjourned the hearing until Nov 15.

In another petition seeking mechanism for appointment of vice chancellors to medical universities, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah issued notice to the Punjab government for Nov 29. Dr Abdul Mannan had moved the petition.

In a similar matter, Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi sought replies from the Punjab government and others. Mian Shabbir, a local citizen, had moved the petition challenging heavy fee, sale of prospectus and ads for admission to private medical universities.