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Court revokes PMC ordinance, restores PMDC

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday restored the dissolved Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) by setting aside the presidential ordinance that had replaced the PMDC with the Pakistan Medical Commission over three and a half months ago.

Giving a short verdict, which had been reserved in PMDC dissolution case on Jan 8, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani declared that the ordinance that repealed the PMDC was ultra vires, held that the PMC formation was not authorised by the law and directed the federal government to reinstate the sacked employees of the PMDC.President Arif Alvi had promulgated the PMC Ordinance 2019, dissolving the PMDC and establishing the PMC, on Oct 19 last year.

Justice Kayani earlier heard the arguments of the petitioners as well as the respondents including the PMC, the Ministry of National Health Services, the law ministry and the College of Physicians andSurgeons Pakistan (CPSP).

Raja Saimul Haq Satti, who represented the CPSP, told the court that the organisation supported the stance taken by the Ministry of National Health Services. The ministry in its written reply to the petitions stated that the ordinance had been promulgated in the larger interest of the stakeholders, which provided for the restructuring and re-organisation of the regulatory body, pertaining to anddealing with regulations and control of medical profession.

Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar argued that the legislation for the subcontinent empowered the British government to issue ordinances in the Acts of 1861 and 1935.

Indian constitution also empowered the president to issue the ordinance.

Likewise, all three constitutions promulgated in 1956, 1962 and 1973 had the provision for the issuance of ordinance. He said the president on the advice of the federal cabinet and the prime minister issued the ordinance of establishment of the PMC and to dissolve the PMDC.

The additional attorney general said the ordinance had been tabled before the National Assembly which passed the bill. He told the court that it was being referred to the Senate.

He argued that the court could not pass an order against the ordinance as a related bill was pending before the parliament.

Representing the petitioners, Babar Sattar, however, argued that it was a matter of basic rights of the erstwhile PMDC and the IHC had all the powers to examine this presiden-tial ordinance.

On Dec 5, the PMC in compliance with a court order had provided details of six months` salaries disbursed among sacked employees of the PMDC.

Abdul Rahim Bhatti, counsel for the petitioners, contended that though the parliament was empowered to dissolve the PMDC but the president, vice presi-dent and the executive committee of the council would stay intact till the appointment of newcomers after the elections, which were to be held within one year.

Moreover, the federal government was authorized to appoint an officer, not below the rank of BS-20, as an administrator to head the executive committee.

The administrator and theexecutive committee were to exercise powers of the council till constitution of a new council, the petition said.

According to the petition, the apex courtin 2018 had set criteria for promulgation of ordinance that had also been followed in the instant case.

The petition stated that PMDC employees weresacked without giving them proper opportunity of hearing.It expressed apprehensions that the newly formed PMC could hire the services of new employees against the sanctioned and contractual positions through other modes after the issuance of advertisement that would jeopardize the vested rights to serve the previous employees of the PMDC.

Title : Court revokes PMC ordinance, restores PMDC
Author : Daily Dawn
Type : News
Role Performer : Corporate author
Subject : Pakistan medical and dental council
Publisher : Daily Dawn
Publication Place : Islamabad
Date : 2020-02-12
Language : English