Govt declares PMDC registrar’s appointment unlawful

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ISLAMABAD: In a major twist in the recent confrontation between the federal government and the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, the former has declared ‘unlawful’ the appointment of retired Brigadier Hafizuddin Siddiqui as PMDC registrar.

The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on Wednesday filed in the Islamabad High Court an application along with documentary evidence stating that the appointment of Brig Siddiqui was made under an ‘outdated’ law. The application was filed through Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar.

The development is taking place at a time when medical professionals are at the frontline in the fight against coronavirus whereas the status of their regulator hangs in the balance.

President Dr Arif Alvi had on Oct 19 last year promulgated an ordinance which left the PMDC dissolved and paved the way for establishment of the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).

According to the notification of Mr Siddiqui’s appointment annexed with the application, he was appointed “registrar PMDC as per the provisions of PM&DC Ordinance II of 2019”. It said the ordinance was published on Jan 9, 2019. On July 17, 2019, the petitioner No. 1 was appointed as PMDC registrar under the same law.

The application said the ordinance stood repealed on Aug 29, 2019 “on the basis of a resolution disapproving it passed by the Senate”, adding that “it is submitted that the petitioner No. 1 was appointed under the Ordinance II of 2019, the repeal of the same ipso facto terminates his appointment as the registrar”.

“Consequently, with effect from August 29, 2019, the office of the registrar PMDC stood vacated. The petitioner No. 1 is no longer the registrar PMDC,” the NHS secretary asserted.

He concluded that Brig Siddiqui “is holding or purporting to hold the office of the registrar/a public office without any lawful authority”.

The NHS ministry requested the court to recall the March 30 order that allowed Mr Siddiqui to sit in the PMDC registrar office.

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