By Afshain Afzal
The recent judgment by honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan dated 4 April 2023 on Suo Moto Case No. 04 of 2022 (Grant of additional 20 marks to Hafiz-Quran while admission in MBBS/BDS under Regulation 9 (9) of MBBS and BDS (Admission house jobs and internship) Regulations, 2018, is unique in nature and seems to be a case of ‘Judicial Review’ due to an oversight. The decision of honourable larger bench is based on the stance taken by the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council’s report that “the MBBS and BDS (Admissions, Examinations, House Job or Internship) Regulations, 2018 and amended in 2019 which allowed grant of 20 additional marks for Hafiz e Quran for admission in Medical and Dental Colleges are not in force and the current Regulations namely Medical and Dental Undergraduate Education (Admissions, Curriculum and Conduct) Regulations, 2021 do not grant any additional marks to students who are Hafiz e Quran, no further proceedings in this suo motu case are required.”
The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 (Article 2.A) provides; sovereignty of Almighty Allah alone over Pakistan and authority by the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him. In Pakistan, Islam’s enunciated principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice shall be fully observed and Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Here there would be guaranteed fundamental rights, including equality of status, of opportunity and before law, social, economic and political justice, and freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality. With regard to minorities, provision to freely to profess and practice their religions and develop their cultures. While another criteria for Pakistanis is that they will be faithful to the declaration made by the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
The honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan is constitutionally bound to be faithful to the declaration made by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah when in a speech at Lahore on October 30, 1947, he said: “We thank providence for giving us courage and faith to fight these forces of evil. If we take our inspiration and guidance from the Holy Quran, the final victory, I once again say, will be ours.” In his speech in the Sibi Darbar on 14 February 1948, he expressed his views against western type of democracy and advised us to guard over the development and maintenance of Islamic democracy, social justice and equality of manhood and told us that our aim should be to secure democracy as enjoined by Islam. Addressing the first education conference held in Karachi in 1947, Quaid-e-Azam said, “Under foreign rule for over a century, in the very nature of things, I regret, sufficient attention has not been paid to the education of our people,” He said, “There is no doubt that the future of our State will and must greatly depend upon the type of education and the way in which we bring up our children as the future servants of Pakistan. Education does not merely mean academic education, and even that appears to be of a very poor type. What we have to do is to mobilize our people and build up the character of our future generations.”