Students challenge PMC’s 60% requirement

SHC rejects plea of former FBR official against sentence awarded in sales tax refund scam


Our Correspondent March 16, 2021

KARACHI:

The Sindh High Court issued notices on Monday to the Pakistan Medical Commission over a set of pleas challenging the 60 percent marks condition for eligibility in written bachelors of dental surgery (BDS) admission test.

The petitioners contend that the PMC initiated its admission process but restricted students with below 60 percent marks in their intermediate exams from sitting for the entrance test.

The petition mentions that there are 690 BDS seats in the province and 515 of them are vacant.

During the hearing, the petitioners' counsel, Haider Waheed, argued that the minimum 60 percent mark requirement was unjust with students.

He moved the court to issue a stay on the restriction. Upon inquiry, the court was informed that the petition has been filed by students, medical colleges, and a non-governmental organisation.

PMC representatives, however, stated that they had not received any notices yet. The court sought the entire BDS admission records and a reply from the PMC by the next hearing slated for March 22.

Sales tax refund scam

Separately, the SHC rejected an appeal filed by a former Federal Board of Revenue officer and others convicted in a sales tax refund scam against the sentence awarded to them.

The court rejected the appeal filed by former FBR inspector Mumtaz Nizami and other convicts, Muhammad Asif and Adil Ashraf.

The court considered the time spent by the convicts in jail thus far as a sentence and upheld the Rs100,000,00 fine imposed on them. The court also upheld the order disqualifying the convicts from holding public office and government posts.

According to the National Accountability Bureau prosecutor RD Kalhoro, the convicts connived with the FBR inspector and formed fake companies to acquire a tax refund.

The national anti-graft watchdog maintained that the convicts caused a loss of over Rs110 million to the national exchequer.

An accountability court had sentenced Nizami to five years in prison and awarded 10 years of imprisonment each to Asif and Adil Ashraf. The convicts have spent seven years and five months in jail thus far.

Contempt plea

Meanwhile, a two-member bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Amjad Ali Sahito, sought replies from the Sindh irrigation department secretary and other parties over a contempt plea pertaining to regularisation of contract employees in the department.

The petitioner has contended that the court had ordered the regularisation of employees in 2018 but the judicial order is not being implemented.

The bench issued notices to the parties seeking their replies.

Missing persons case

Another bench, comprising Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto and Justice Abdul Mobin Lakho, sought a report from the home department secretary over a set of pleas seeking the recoveries of missing persons.

Hearing the case of the missing citizen, Muhammad Umar Farooq, the court expressed annoyance at the relevant authorities for their failure to recover him thus far.

The police performance is dissatisfactory, remarked the court, adding that the police did not seem to be making any efforts to recover Farooq, who has been missing for years.

Seeking a report from the home secretary, the bench adjourned the hearing till April 21.

Sentence upheld

The same bench upheld the death sentence awarded to a prisoner named, Shahid Ali, rejecting his appeal against the sentence awarded him to in a murder case.

Announcing the verdict, the court remarked that the trial court awarded the death penalty to Ali on the basis of concrete evidence against him.

According to police, a district and sessions court had sentenced Ali to death in 2018 for killing a citizen, Waseem.

The murder case against Ali was lodged in 2014.

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