SC orders private medical colleges to refund excessive fee to students

  • FIA, NAB ordered to probe illegal registration of medical colleges during tenure of Dr Asim

LAHORE – The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Saturday ordered all private medical colleges to refund collected fees in excess of Rs850,000 to students within 15 days.

A two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar issued the orders while hearing the suo motu case against the exorbitant fees of private medical colleges across the country at Lahore’s registry.

The chief justice warned that strict action will be taken against the private medical colleges on not following the court orders.

During the hearing, the bench barred the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from harassing the officials of medical colleges and adjourned the case until March 25 (tomorrow).

A matter regarding illegal registration of medical colleges during the tenure of former Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) head Dr Asim was also taken up by the apex court.

The court has sent the matter to the FIA and National Accountability Bureau (NAB), ordering them to submit a report within a month.

The medical colleges hiked fees over the year in the name of different new charges, putting burden on students. The colleges were also accused of receiving money from students in the guise of donations at the time of admission.

In 2010, the top court had taken notice and ordered to receive Rs550,000 annual fee, which will be increased by seven percent in a year.

In 2013, the fee was increased to 642,000 but the private colleges did not fulfill the promises regarding facilities.

In 2016, PMDC launched a central induction system for students to stop private medical colleges from receiving donations but the colleges got stay orders on the decision.