Gover­nor Pun­jab's son is­sues un­con­di­tional apol­ogy in Supreme Court

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL - IS­LAM­ABAD -AP

As the Supreme Court (SC) La­hore registry re­sumed hear­ing a suo motu case on the in­flated fee struc­ture of pri­vate med­i­cal and den­tal col­leges in Pun­jab on Thurs­day, Chief Jus­tice of Pak­istan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar made it clear that "the court does not want money to be a hin­drance in the way of an ed­u­ca­tion".

The CJP had ear­lier this week taken no­tice of de­te­ri­o­rat­ing stan­dards in the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion and the un­avail­abil­ity of suf­fi­cient health fa­cil­i­ties and launched an in­quiry into the gov­ern­ment's ef­forts to­wards im­prov­ing the health sec­tor.

Gover­nor Pun­jab Muham­mad Rafiq Ra­jwana's son, who had been ac­cused of pres­sur­ing a fe­male lawyer in­volved in the case, is­sued an un­con­di­tional apol­ogy in court on Thurs­day, claim­ing that the pros­e­cu­tor in ques­tion, Advocate An­jum Hameed, was "like his mother" and that they had fam­ily ties as well.

Advocate An­jum had ear­lier told the court that Asif had been tele­phon­ing and tex­ting her to of­fer ad­mis­sion to a stu­dent who was among her ac­quain­tances only if she re­frained from rais­ing the is­sue in court.

When he was asked why he had called Advocate An­jum, Asif Ra­jwana said that the Vice Chan­cel­lor of Faisal­abad Univer­sity, Dr Farid - who had been sus­pended by the SC a day ear­lier - had asked him to do so.

The CJP ex­pressed con­cerns over the fee struc­ture of med­i­cal col­leges and sum­moned the chief ex­ec­u­tives of all 14 pri­vate med­i­cal and den­tal col­leges in La­hore to fur­nish de­tails of their bank ac­counts and the amount of fee they charged from stu­dents. They were also asked to sub­mit sworn af­fi­davits on how they were meet­ing Pak­istan Med­i­cal and Den­tal Coun­cil (PMDC) cri­te­ria.

The col­leges were directed to sub­mit their prospec­tuses; the num­ber of seats avail­able and how many of them had been filled on merit and quota ba­sis; and the charges col­lected from stu­dents be­sides fee fixed by the PMDC. The court also re­strained all un­recog­nised pri­vate med­i­cal col­leges from of­fer­ing ad­mis­sions.

The two-judge bench hear­ing the case asked the Pun­jab chief sec­re­tary to brief the court on the fee struc­ture of med­i­cal col­leges, and said that there must be a pol­icy al­low­ing stu­dents who could not af­ford to pay the fee to take ad­mis­sion in med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tions. The chief sec­re­tary, how­ever, as­sured the court that the Pun­jab gov­ern­ment had enough funds to en­sure that stu­dents who could not af­ford a med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion due to lack of fi­nan­cial re­sources, could be ad­mit­ted to col­leges on the ba­sis of merit.

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