ISLAMABAD -  The Supreme Court on Friday appointed an interim council headed by former judge of the apex court to run the affairs of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar appointed the interim body after hearing appeals against the Lahore High Court (LHC) judgment, which, on December 7, 2017, dissolved the composition of the PMDC and its 2016 regulations for admissions to medical colleges. The bench, simultaneously took up a suo moto case regarding charging of an exorbitant fee by private medical colleges.

The LHC held that the PMDC was working under an amended ordinance of 2015 that had lapsed, and as a result, the regulations made by the council also became ineffective.

The short order of the bench said: “The reasons to be recorded later, Civil Appeals No-3 and 4 of 2017, Civil Petitions No. 45 and 64 to 70 of 2018 are dismissed; whereas Civil Petition No.3412/2017 is converted into an appeal and allowed.”

“The PMDC constituted under the law and any executive committee constituted by or under the law and presently working is dissolved. Till the appointment/election of the fresh council and the executive committees, an ad-hoc council to perform the functions and run the affairs of the PMDC in accordance with the relevant law,” the order said.

The council shall be headed by former judge Mian Shakirullah Jan and comprised of Attorney General for Pakistan or in case of his non-availability, his nominee/representative, Federal Secretary Health, Surgeon General of Pakistan Armed Forces; Vice Chancellor of the National University of Medical Sciences, Vice Chancellor University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Vice Chancellor Jinnah Post-graduate Medical Centre, Karachi, Vice Chancellor Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, and Principal Bolan Medical College, Quetta.

The council will take over and run the affairs of the PMDC immediately and its first meeting shall be convened on January 18. The present registrar of PMDC shall continue to work.

Earlier, during the proceeding, Barrister Ali Zafar, representing the Pakistan Association of Medical Institutions (PAMI), agreed for random inspection of Lahore Medical and Dental College, Jallo Park, as the college fulfills the requirements and SOPs prescribed by the PMDC.

The court constituted a committee comprising Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf, Ayesha Hamid, Dr Faisal Masood, Dr Javed Gardezi, Dr Waseem Hashmi, Registrar of PMDC and Dr Salman Kazmi, Secretary Young Doctors Association for inspection of medical colleges. The court directed the committee to submit a report within one-week.

Ayesha Hamid said that parents of students of private colleges have filed 22 applications with the University of Health Science (UHS) to which these colleges are affiliated. The university has sought a reply from the private medical colleges regarding the exorbitant fee but they were not replying.

The court directed all the private medical colleges with which the UHS shall interact to immediately reply within three days, otherwise, their chief executives would be summoned to explain for non-compliance of the order.

All the private medical colleges in the country, particularly in Punjab, were directed to provide a list of all those candidates who have applied, finalized and finally been admitted to their respective colleges along with the merit list before the apex court within one-week.

The court restrained admissions by private medical colleges which were not yet affiliated. However, any admission made in any college, which is affiliated after the date when the court first took cognizance of this matter, shall be subject to the final decision of the court.