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KARACHI: A division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday issued a notice to the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) on the announcement of the date for the Medical and Dental Admission Test (MDCAT 2020). The bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Arshad Hussain Khan, ordered issuance of notice on a petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against the commission for not complying with the high court's decision vis-a-vis MDCAT 2020.

The commission had announced that it would conduct MDCAT on November 29. But the petitioner's lawyer, Jibran Nasir, argued that by announcing new date for the test without issuing a syllabus approved by the academic board, the PMC had committed contempt of court.

The bench admitted the petition and issued a notice to the PMC seeking its response at the November 24 hearing of the case. It is worth mentioning that the SHC had cancelled the MDCAT, scheduled for November 15, saying that since the National Medical and Dental Academic Board had not been formed under the Pakistan Medical Commission Act, 2020, the "MDCAT cannot be conducted".

The court order had stated that the board would have "the powers to formulate the examination structure and standards for the MDCAT for approval of the Council".

The court had ordered that the competent authority under Sections 10 and 15 of the PMC Act, 2020, shall within 15 days appoint the National Medical and Dental Academic Board and the National Medical Authority in line with the said provisions; thereafter, within 10 days, the National Medical and Dental Academic Board shall review the formulation of the examination structure and standards for the MDCAT and announce a common syllabus; thereafter MDCAT shall be conducted through the National Medical Authority on a date to be fixed and announced afresh at the earliest.

The court had stated that all those applicants who had applied to the PMC and their application forms were accepted before the cut-off date shall be allowed to attend the MDCAT with the same registration and admit cards if any issued to them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020