In light of the recent decision taken by the Lahore High Court, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) on Monday decided not to proceed with the registration of 20 new medical colleges.
Members pointed out that the council can only conduct day-to-day activities after the court`s decision.
One of the council members, retired Maj Gen Dr Abdul Khalig Naveed also submitted his resignation and said the council is no longer legitimate.
The PMDC decided to defer theagenda items and seek opinion from the Law Division regarding its status.
It was also decided to challenge the LHC decision of declaring the council illegalin the Supreme Court.
Last week, an LHC bench consisting of Justice Jawad Hassan and Ayesha A. Malik decided that as the councilwas constituted under an amendment ordinance which could not pass through parliament, its composition stood revived as of April 25, 2016.
The PMDC Amendment Bill, 2015 was promulgated in Aug 2015 and an acting management committee was established.
The bill of the ordinance was passed by the National Assembly but not the Senate because PPP senators Kareem Khawaja and Aitzaz Ahsanhad on April 22, 2016 suggested the bill be referred to the Council of Common Interest (CCI). Voting could therefore not be held.
The ordinance lapsed on April 25, 2016 leading to a debate regarding the status of the council.
The LHC ordered that the council can only conduct day-to-day activities and that new elections be held within 90 days.
It directed that all of the council`s decisions be reviewed by the CCI within six months. It also declared the centralised admissions policy for students illegal.
A meeting of the council was scheduled on Monday but members pointed out that it cannot take decisions and the agenda was therefore deferred.
An official who attended the meeting said the inspection of 20 new medical colleges was on the agenda but inspection orders could not be issued.
`The current council has taken a number of controversial decisions and the court`s decision has proved people`s reservations to be correct.
Four months ago, another member of the council, Dr Sania Nishtar, also resigned and said in her resignation letter that she was not satisfied with the performance and decisions of the council. Yet another council member resigned on Monday,` he said.
The resignation submitted by Dr Naveed, which is available with Dawn, says: `As per LHC decision, the council ceased to exist as of 25th April 2016. I consider that working as council member after decision is not legitimate.
Therefore, I resign from membership with immediate effect.
Talking to Dawn, Dr Naveed said he hadresigned because he did not think he should continue working after the court`s decision.
However, he said, the council management had approached him and said that a decision needs to be made regarding the filing of an appeal in the SC and he therefore withdrew his resignation.
`Though we have taken a number of good decisions during our tenure, he council`s legal team failed in defending our case during the LHC hearing,` he said.
PMDC member Dr Amir Bandesha told Dawn the council has 90 days and has been directed to only run the day-to-day affairs. It has been decided to ask the Law Division what day-today means.
`The opinion will be sought through the Ministry of National Health Services. We have also constituted a seven-member legal team to file an appeal against the L HC decision in SC,` he said.
Dr Bandesha said the agenda was deferred so no one will challenge the council`s decisions.