SC summons governor’s son over ‘interference’ in admissions

LAHORE –  The Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned Punjab governor’s son over his alleged interference in admissions of a private medical college despite a stay order in this regard.

The court also barred Faisalabad Medical University’s Vice Chancellor Dr Fareed Zafar from performing his duties till further orders and issued him a show-cause notice for calling and sending text messages to a woman lawyer in connection with admission offer to a student in Continental Medical College in Lahore who was earlier refused admission.

A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar held proceedings on a suo motu notice taken on fee structure and admission criteria of private medical colleges at Supreme Court Lahore registry. Justice Ijazul Ahsan was the other member of the bench.

CJP Nisar expressed dismay over violation of stay orders regarding further admission of medical students in private medical colleges. “Did you call her for admission of the student?” the CJP asked Dr Zafar, the VC, when a woman Anjum Hameed told the court that she had received calls and text messages from him (Dr. Zafar) as well as Punjab Governor Rafiq Rajwana’s son Asif Rajwana for admission of her neighbors’ son. 

The VC tried to explain his position, however, the CJP snubbed him, directing a police officer to take him into custody and the other moment he barred the police by posing another question to the VC, “Why did you call her?” Did you contact governor’s son for calling the lady with admission offer of the student?” he further asked him. The bench also ordered the court staffer to immediately contact governor’s son and ask him to appear in person. However, the court time ended and governor’s son could not appear before it.

The CJP also expressed serious concerns over lack of uniformity in admission criteria of private medical colleges and setting up their own admission criteria for students. He observed that why the son of a poor citizen could not become doctor if he was intelligent.

“I have been told that such doctors are being produced who even don’t know how to check blood pressure,” the CJP remarked.

Advocate General Punjab Shakilur Rehman, LHC Registrar Khursheed Anwar Rizvi, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council’s Registrar Dr. Waseem Qureshi and UHS’s representative were present there.

The chief justice also summoned chief executive officer of Rashid Latif Medical College along with affidavit and record about their bank accounts and fee they were charging from the students as well as the map of the buildings as to how it was approved. He also summoned Lahore Development Authority’s Director General along with complete record of the Rashid Latif Hospital’s building at Ferozepur Road.

The bench directed the CEOs of the colleges to collect the PMDC’s proforma from the registrar office, fill it and submit it before the office along with affidavits warning that “If they could not get the proforma they would be imposed Rs100,000 as fine.”

Representatives and CEOs of Fatima Memorial Hospital, Continental Medical College, Shalimar Medical and Dental College, Azra Naheed Medical College, Central Park Medical and Dental College, Akhtar Saeed Medical and Dental College and University of Lahore appeared before the court and informed the bench about strength of the students, fee they charged and facilities they provided to the local and international students.

However, no one was there to represent Sharif Medical Complex. On it, the CJP asked the PMDC’s representative that who was the owner of Sharif Medical Complex. The bench directed the owners of Rashid Latif’s Hospital, Amna Medical College and Sharif Complex to appear in person along with affidavits and record of their colleges’ affairs on Thursday (today).

UHS’s Professor Dr Faisal Masood presented report on last three years’ merit and comparative analysis of the performance of King Edward Medical College University with private colleges before the bench. However, a PMDC’s representative told the bench that Pakistan’s medical degrees were questioned in the US and ban was suggested on Pakistani doctors’ practice in the US.

The chief justice remarked that he wanted quality medical education, observing that “I have come to know that there are certain universities which do everything from admission to the exams and their all students get passed.”

PMDC’s representative told the bench that an admission policy was introduced to uplift the standard of medical education in the country. However, a stay order was issued on it while all the varsities and colleges had completed their admissions.

The bench directed the Lahore High Court registrar to present all cases pending before the LHC or before any other court to the SC within three days. The bench adjourned till January 6 hearing of the main case on medical education and fee structure except the owners of Rashif Latif Medical College, Sharif Medical Complex and Amna Medical College who were directed to appear before the court on Thursday (today).

 

FIDA HUSSNAIN

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