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Supreme Court Questions Why Hafiz-e-Quran Students Get Extra Marks

The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan has challenged the concept of Hafiz-e-Quran students getting extra marks in university admissions.

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The objection was raised by senior SC judge, Justice Qazi Faez Isa, during the hearing of a petition pertaining to admission to a medical university in Karachi, Samaa News reported.

A student of Bolan University of Medical and Health Sciences, Quetta, had filed a petition to the top court after being denied admission at a university. The petitioner’s counsel mentioned in his opening remarks that his client could have easily gotten admission on merit if he had been allotted 20 percent additional marks for being a Hafiz-e-Quran.

The petition is based on a law passed in 1987, under which Hafiz-e-Quran students are awarded 20 percent extra marks at every level after matriculation.

“How are admissions into medical and other colleges linked to being a hafiz-e-Quran? Why should 20 marks extra be given on this basis?” Justice Isa inquired.

“We believe that memorizing the Quran is sacred. And it is a plus point when someone wants to become the imam of a mosque or a religious lecturer,” he remarked and added, “But how can a hafiz-e-Quran be a better doctor?”

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The petitioner said that the court should not indulge in the complexities of the matter, to which Justice Isa replied, “Why are you scared of Islam? Religion is supposed to make things easier for us”.

“This is an important matter. A decision can be reached after discussion,” he concluded.

The apex court then decided to conduct a separate hearing to discuss the issue and adjourned the hearing to a later date. It also issued notices to all the respondents, including the concerned university and the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).

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  • The lawyer representing the Hafiz was poorly prepared. This created ample space for an infamous judge to disparage religiously sensitive relaxations provided by law of the country.
    If judges’ families can benefit from govt facilities because its the law, why cant a hafiz receive preferential treatment owing to the laws?. If a judge can buy expensive British properties for a “discounted” price after generous ‘relaxation’ from the seller, and sucessfully stops FBR from investigating these properties by citing enabling provisions of the ITO law, govt of PK can give relaxations to hafiz people through legislation. If a lawyer can become high court judge just because of quota of bar (:D), why cant a hafiz get some grace marks at the time of admission? Law must reign supreme, right?
    Doesnt the judge want seminary students (hafiz aspirants) to go on to become doctors instead of mere molvees? Why is he afraid of memory skills of huffaz?
    A good hafiz carries impeccable memory skills. He is well equipped to be a doctor; sometimes more than non-hafiz people. Those who are professional doctors, must be able to understand this logic.

    • You are right! If a judge can question a law that extends favour to a specific group, then by virtue of equality the same questions should also be raised against the favours provided to parliamentarians, bureaucrats and law makers. Alas! this is Pakistan where law is exercised on the weak only.

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