ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court recently declared Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) dissolution null and void.
A divisional bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani announced the decision on identical petitions filed against the dissolution of the council by a presidential ordinance signed by President Dr Arif Alvi.
The presidential ordinance had paved way for the establishment of a new nine-member body namely the Pakistan Medical Commission. Following the promulgation, the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) through the federal capital’s district administration and police had taken over the possession of the PMDC building and shut down the office.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s move was declared “undemocratic” by the Pakistan Medical Association and led to a series of protests across the country.
The sacked PMDC employees had challenged their termination and dissolution of the council in the high court and argued that the government had not followed the criteria set by the top court for the promulgation of ordinances in a 2018 verdict
The petition contended that although the Parliament was empowered to dissolve the PMDC but the president, vice-president and the executive committee of the council would stay till a new commission was elected through annual elections. It also pointed out that the government was unauthourised to appoint an official below grade 20 to head the executive committee.
The petitioners maintained that the PMDC employees were terminated without an opportunity for hearing and expressed reservation over the newly-formed PMC that it may hire employees on sanctioned and contractual posts through varying modes which may jeopardise chances of previous PMDC employees.