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HomePakistanPHC approves MDCAT retest amid scandal | The Express Tribune

PHC approves MDCAT retest amid scandal | The Express Tribune



PESHAWAR:

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has disposed of the writ petitions after the provincial government’s decision to retake the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT).

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Abdul Shakur and Justice Arshad Ali, announced the decision on Tuesday, with a detailed verdict to be issued later.

The MDCAT 2023 tests held on September 10 in 31 cities across the country were marred by allegations of “mass cheating,” prompting the PHC to issue a stay order preventing the release of test results after it was approached.Subsequently, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial cabinet decided to conduct the MDCAT again.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Justice Syed Arshad Ali questioned why the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) did not conduct its own inquiry upon receiving a letter from the JIT (Joint Investigation Team).

He criticised the PMDC for not taking the initiative when their intervention was required.

Advocate General Amir, Khyber Medical University lawyer Abdul Muneem Khan, PMDC lawyer Yasir Khattak, and other lawyers appeared before the court.

The advocate general informed the court that the provincial government had decided to conduct the test again with the approval of the cabinet, citing irregularities in the September 10 test.

He also mentioned that the government had been in regular contact with Khyber Medical University (KMU) regarding this matter.

The advocate general stated that the JIT’s report, prepared by Additional Chief Secretary Home Abid Majeed, addressed significant issues and made recommendations to prevent such incidents in the future.

He reassured the court that strict action would be taken against those involved in any illegal activities, as the future of the students is at stake.

KMU’s lawyer, Abdul Muneem, informed the court that KMU has the authority to conduct tests and has its own set of rules. He noted that PMDC regularly communicates with KMU regarding test-taking, as mentioned in PMDC law.

On the other hand, the lawyer for PMDC maintained that the test cannot be retaken under any circumstances.

The petitioner’s counsel, Yasir Khattak Advocate, argued that retaking the test would unfairly penalise the intelligent students who had performed well in exams.

He requested the court to explain the procedure and ensure the protection of these high-achieving students.

Meanwhile, the parents of the students, who also attended the court hearing, emphasised that they belonged to the poor class and expressed concerns about the cancellation of the entire test.

They suggested that if anyone had obtained marks through unfair means, those individuals should be identified and penalised accordingly, rather than nullifying the entire exams.

Lawyers present at the hearing highlighted past instances of cheating in exams and argued that action should be taken against the culprits, instead of cancelling the entire test.

Justice Syed Arshad Ali criticised KMU and PMDC for their unprofessional approach, questioning why they did not take steps themselves when inquiries were conducted.

PMDC’s lawyer stated that the test had been declared valid during a meeting of vice-chancellors on September 15, and action had been recommended against those involved.

Justice Arshad Ali asked why PMDC did not conduct its own inquiry when it had volunteered to be part of the JIT.
In short order, the court declared that the provincial government had decided to conduct the MDCAT test again, leading to the disposal of the writ petitions.

 





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