Lahore: The Supreme Court (SC) Saturday ordered private medical colleges to refund the fee received in excess of Rs850,000 (Dh27,085) to students within one month.
The court also ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate the recognition given to private medical colleges during the tenure of former president of Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), Dr Asim Hussain, and submit a report within one month.
The court ordered private medical colleges to accommodate some students, who deserved admission on merit but could not get admission to any public or private sector colleges.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan passed these orders while hearing a suo motu notice against exorbitant fee structures of some private medical colleges at the Supreme Court Lahore registry.
As the proceedings began, a representative of Pak Red Crescent Medical College submitted that all fees received in excess of Rs 850,000 had been refunded to students in compliance of the court orders. He also requested the court to order de-sealing of the college record.
At this, the chief justice observed that he would also order all private medical colleges, except for Aga Khan Medical College, to refund the additional fee. He directed the FIA to de-seal the college record, besides restraining the agency from raiding any private medical college without permission from the SC Registrar.
To a court query, an FIA representative briefed the court that it had prepared a copy of Pak Red Crescent College record in compliance with the court orders, and the same was being investigated.
Dr Asim Hussain requested the bench to exempt the University of Health Sciences (UHS) and the PMDC from refunding the excess fee.
To which, the chief justice observed that he also intended to order investigation into private medical colleges’ recognition process during his period.
The bench then ordered NAB and the FIA to investigate the recognition given to private medical colleges during Dr Asim Hussain’s period and submit their reports within one month.
UHS acting Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Faisal Masood submitted a report for accommodation of students who fulfilled the merit but could not get admission in any public or private medical colleges. Those students could be accomodated in private medical colleges of Punjab by increasing five seats in each college, he suggested.
At this, the bench ordered the colleges to accommodate the students within one week’s time.
It may be mentioned that the chief justice had ordered for sealing the Pak Red Crescent College record and refunding the fee after a visit of the college two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, the bench disposed of an application against construction of a grid station in Journalist Housing Society at Harbanspura after a Lahore Press Club representative informed the court that the body did not have any objection over its construction.
Earlier, the bench was apprised that 35-kanal land was sanctioned by the Journalist Housing Foundation board in accordance with the law for the construction of grid station, on the recommendation of Lahore Electric Supply Company.