SC seeks record of three hospitals in fee structure case

LAHORE – The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday sought complete record of three medical colleges, including Sharif Medical College and Dental College owned by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The SC had taken suo motu notice of fee structure, admission criteria and facilities being provided to students by these medical colleges.

A two-member bench headed by SC Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and consisting of Justice Ijazul Ahsan passed the order at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry.

The bench ordered owners of Central Park Medical College and Amna Inayat Medical College to appear in person along with affidavits and details of fee structure, admission criteria and facilities being provided to medical students.

As the proceedings commenced, Punjab Governor’s son Asif Rajwana appeared before the court and said that he had apologised over his phone call to a woman lawyer for admission of a medical student to a medical college.

“What did you want to say to her on phone?” the CJ asked Rajwana in a snubbing tone. “How did you dare to interfere in a court matter?” he asked. The bench rejected his verbal apology and directed him to submit a written apology. The court also accepted unconditional apology of Faisalabad Medical University Vice Chancellor Dr Fareed Zafar.

Also, Sharif Medial City Principal Brig (Retd) Zafar Ahmad appeared before the court. “I called the owner. Why did not he come?” he asked. When the court asked him that who was the owner of the Sharif Medical College, he replied that it was a trust and Nawaz Sharif was the chairman. On this, the CJP remarked, “Why did not he come? He should have appeared before the court.”

Answering a question about the fee being charged from students of the college, the principal said that they had been charged Rs875,000. On this, the CJ asked, why was the college charging extra fee? The bench directed him to fill the pro forma, details about bank accounts and expenditure incurred on running the college. “We will not allow money become hurdle in the way of intelligent children’s education,” the CJ remarked.

A man in the courtroom suddenly broke into tears and said that her daughter qualified for admission to the medical college on merit, but he couldn’t afford the fee. He said, “I hardly managed Rs500,000 for fee of my daughter and couldn’t pay the rest,” he said. The chief justice said the court was hearing the fee case and hopefully there would be a way out for the student. He said that otherwise he would pay from his own pocket.

A PMDC representative told the court that there was a five per cent scholarship quota for the brilliant students but they never received any single application from private colleges for scholarship award. The Punjab chief secretary said on rostrum that the Punjab Endowment Fund was established for financial support of intelligent and deserving students. On this, the bench directed him to check to what extent the fund could support the deserving students. The court adjourned the hearing until Jan 6.

App adds: The Supreme Court on Thursday sought details from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) on illegal marriage halls and markets.

The LDA DG submitting an initial report regarding Hameed Latif Hospital construction and sought time to submit the detailed report. While explaining parking/traffic problems near Hameed Latif Hospital, the director general briefed the bench that the authority sealed 144 illegal marriage halls but the owners got stay orders from court. The bench expressed annoyance over lack of parking facilities in markets and plazas and sought details of illegal marriage halls and markets within 10 days. The bench observed that it would take action in this regard.

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