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PMDC termination through ordinance contested in IHC

DN Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) recently admitted a petition against the presidential ordinance that dissolved the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC). The NHS ministry employed Islamabad district administration and police to take over the PMDC building, announcing that the office will remain closed for the upcoming week.

The bench, after issuing notifications to the secretaries to the president, ministries of law and health, cabinet division, chief commissioner, attorney general and the president of the new Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) to revert on the matter, adjourned the hearing till November 8th.

A single bench of the high court comprising of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani heard the petition. The court also issued orders for payment of salaries to employees of the PMDC.

Registrar of the now-dissolved PMDC, retired Brig Dr Hafizud Din, and 31 other employees approached IHC, stating that a parliamentary act gives government the authority to dissolve PMDC, but its president, vice president and the executive committee should stay intact till newcomers are appointed through elections, which were to be held within a year. Moreover, the federal government has the power to appoint an officer, not below the rank of BS-20, as an administrator to head the executive committee. The administrator and the executive committee were to exercise powers of the council till the constitution of a new council, the petition said.

The petition further said, “The Senate of Pakistan on August 29, 2019 after due deliberation on the provisions of the Ordinance and voting…disapproved the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Ordinance 2019; however, the President of Pakistan has again promulgated the identical provisions of the PMDC Ordinance 2019.”

The petition said that the services of the PMDC employees were terminated without giving them a proper opportunity of hearing. It expressed apprehensions that the newly formed PMC may hire the services of new employees against the sanctioned and contractual positions through other mode after issuance of advertisement.

It requested the court to declare the ordinance for establishment of the PMC as unconstitutional and in the meanwhile allow the erstwhile PMDC employees to continue work in the newly formed commission.

November 1, 2019

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