LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC), headed by Justice Asad Munir, granted time to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Wednesday to engage counsel in a petition by a dual national student challenging the standards of getting admission to the MBBS programme under the self finance scheme. The LHC also issued notice to the deputy attorney general for assistance. The next date of hearing is October 7.
Petitioner Uzair Ikram, submitted through Advocate Chaudhry Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, that he was the national of two countries. He said he obtained 13 A’s in his O-level exams, secured first division in the FSc Pre-Medical exam and obtained 734 marks in the MBBS test.
Ikram said that he tried to get admission under the self finance scheme but under the June 3, 2010, admissions policy announced by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PM&DC) he was not admitted. He said that on July 7, PM&DC’s registrar had directed the HEC’s Academics Division director, through a letter, that dual nationality holders who have completed their FSc from Pakistan be treated as Pakistani citizens and are ineligible to apply under the self finance scheme.
The petitioner said that the Academic Division director allows admission under the self finance scheme for dual nationality students in other professional institutions of the country. The prohibition, he says, is only against dual nationality students applying to MBBS and BDS programmes.
Ikram said that this admissions procedure is discriminatory. He said that many students may have been denied admission because of this policy.
The petitioner prayed that the admissions policy of June 3, the admissions procedure issued by the HEC and all consequent actions taken in this regard be declared illegal and without jurisdiction. He prayed that he be declared an eligible candidate under the admissions procedure of dual nationality students. He prayed that the as the court decided his application, the HEC should be directed to entertain his application for admission under the self finance scheme and provisionally allow him admission per merits.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2010.