Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial of the Lahore High Court on Monday ordered Shaikh Zayed Medical and Dental College (SZMDC) to charge students an annual tuition fee of Rs365,000, as set by its board of governors in 2009, instead of the fee of Rs475,000 it currently charges.
The chief justice passed this order while disposing of a petition moved by Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) General Secretary Dr Tanvir.
Justice Bandial also directed the government to set up a new board of governors for the college in three months. Until then, the college is not required to refund the students, nor can it adjust the fee of Rs365,000 per year, he wrote in his order.
Representing the PMA, Advocate Noshab A Khan contended that the SZMDC was the only public college with annual fees as high as at private colleges, despite getting government funding. He said the Punjab government had taken control of the SZMDC on February 14, 2012. The college had continued to charge a higher fee since then, he said.
Khan asked the court to direct the college to develop a fee structure similar to that at other public medical colleges in the Punjab.
The college had submitted in response to the petition that it had to meet all its expenses from fees received from students as it had not received any government funding.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2013.
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