ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday made it clear that private medical colleges across the country would be regulated even if he had to get personally involved.He said all the medical colleges will be inspected across the board and he will personally visit each and every medical college, adding that he will not let the medical education turn into a business. He was heading a three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, which was hearing a suo motu case along with a petition filed by PMDC against private medical colleges not observing merit during the admissions and charging exorbitant fees from the students.He said the court did not wish to close down the private medical colleges as the number of public medical colleges did not cater the present day needs.In his arguments Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, counsel for private medical and dental colleges through Pakistan Association of Private Medical and Dental Institutions (PAMI), addressed the arguments on the constitutional validity of the Council of PMDC and the legality of the Regulations framed by it. He argued that the present Council of PMDC was illegal and functioning unlawfully because it was created under Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 which lapsed on April 25, 2016, and accordingly the Council and all acts done and Regulations passed by it were also unlawful. He argued that to set the matter straight, the Parliament passed an Amendment Act in 2012, under which the private medical and dental colleges of each province were to select only one member amongst themselves, but even this was not acceptable to the government which then, through an Ordinance in the year 2015, dissolved this Council and constituted a new Council of its own liking without any representation from the private medical and dental colleges.He stated that when this Ordinance lapsed and the matter was put up before the Senate of Pakistan, they refused to make this Ordinance a law and sent it to the Council of Common Interest. Relying on various judgments of the Supreme Court submitted that when an Ordinance lapses under Article 89 read with Article 264 of the Constitution, then being a temporary legislation, any body created under it also ceases to exist. Consequently, he stated that the current members of PMDC are all working illegally and should be stopped.To compete the global strategy, he said Pakistan would require more than 200 medical institutions. He said in exercise of suo motu jurisdiction the Supreme Court should ensure that the standards of the private medical and dental colleges are raised and at the same time they should be encouraged and supported in their endeavors. The chief justice observed that if PMDC is illegal then it cannot be allowed to continue and asked the counsels, including the Attorney General, that till new elections are held they should suggest an alternate solution of who is to run the Council of PMDC. He said there was shortage of doctors in Pakistan, adding that there were only 164,000 registered doctors in the country, whereas there was a need of 0.5 million.The chief justice observed that there was a need of 0.5 million doctors and not quacks. Appearing on notice, Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali apprised the court that the federal government had taken notice of the court’s proceedings and a legislation was being considered to streamline the medical education. He said he briefed the cabinet on Wednesday on the PMDC Ordinance and medical colleges. He said government will take important decisions in this regard during its joint session and it is expected that legislation will be made. The chief justice then noted that parliament was supreme body of legislation and the court could not give a time limit for any legislation. He pointed noted that he came under heavy criticism over his visit to Mayo Hospital Lahore, however he said he would continue such visits remaining as it was his constitutional right. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till today (Friday).Published in Daily Times, January 12th 2018.