Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar on Tuesday summoned Punjab Governor Muhammad Rafiq Rajwana’s son to the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court (SC) to answer questions regarding a telephonic call to a female lawyer involved in a case regarding the inflated fee structure of private medical and dental colleges.
The CJP was heading a two-judge bench at the Lahore registry. The other member was Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
During the hearing, a female lawyer on the case told the court that Rajwana’s son had tried to contact her after yesterday’s hearing during which she had told the court that she knew of at least two cases in Punjab where colleges asked for Rs0.9 million as fee and refused to make any concessions on humanitarian grounds.
Upon hearing this, the chief justice, who was visibly displeased, summoned the governor’s son to court and remarked, “How dare the governor’s son call a lawyer.”
“Check the law to see if the governor himself can be summoned to court,” he added.
Speaking to DawnNews during recess, the lawyer said: “Yesterday, I told the court about personal experiences I had with medical colleges and I will not back down from my statement.”
During the hearing, the CJP expressed concern over the deteriorating standards in the medical profession and health facilities, and said that he was told yesterday that colleges charge as much as Rs0.6m as fee.
“However, today we are being told that colleges in Punjab are charging close to Rs0.9m as a semester fee,” Justice Nisar said during the hearing.
Justice Nisar also displayed indignation over the lack of bank details submitted by colleges. Yesterday the court had ordered colleges to furnish details of their bank accounts and the fees they charged for the present session from students.
The chief justice said that he would want to know what kind of doctors are being produced by private medical colleges.
“There days, young doctors do not even know how to check a patient’s blood pressure,” the chief justice remarked during the hearing.
The SC bench refused to allow more medical colleges from opening up, and also disallowed Fatima Memorial Medical and Dental College and Lahore Medical and Dental College from admitting additional students.
The bench ordered that all details of cases pertaining to medical colleges that are currently pending before the Lahore High Court and sessions courts should be shared with the SC.
Once again ordering colleges to provide their bank details and their fee structure, the chief justice said that the court needs to determine how much money the state spends on its medical students and what private institutions do for their students.