The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed pleas challenging the decision to retake the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.

A three-member bench, led by Justice Yahya Afridi, upheld the verdict of the Peshawar High Court and dismissed the pleas.

On October 3, 2023, a two-member bench of the PHC, consisting of Justice Abdul Shakur and Justice Arshad Ali, had disposed of the writ petitions following the provincial government’s decision to retake MDCAT. The bench had announced that a detailed verdict would be issued later.

The MDCAT 2023 tests, conducted on September 10 in 31 cities nationwide, faced allegations of “mass cheating,” leading the PHC to issue a stay order preventing the release of test results.

Subsequently, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provincial cabinet decided to conduct MDCAT again. The KP advocate-general informed the court that the provincial government had decided to conduct the test again with the cabinet’s approval, citing irregularities in the September 10 test.

On Friday, lawyers representing the petitioners, including Habibullah Qureshi, argued before the apex court.

However, the court observed that students using unfair means in exams affect the system, justifying the necessity of retaking the examination. Additionally, the court noted that it was a policy matter, and the court could not intervene.

In response, the petitioners’ lawyers argued that the high court had intervened, questioning the consistency of the judgment. Nevertheless, the court emphasised that with only two days left for the examinations, it would be inappropriate to intervene at this stage. The petitioners’ lawyers mentioned that around 40,000 students had been affected, citing differences in the types of papers and a single paper leaked in Larkana. The court, however, dismissed the petitions.

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