LAHORE: The Supreme Court Saturday has suspended a decision of the Punjab University’s syndicate of handing over of 80 kanals of university land for the construction of a grid station.
The court also summoned members of syndicate along with record for April 22 (Sunday).
The two-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, passed the orders while hearing a suo motu notice over appointment of vice chancellors of public sector universities, here at Supreme Court Lahore Registry.
During the proceedings, the chief justice inquired why a permanent vice chancellor had not been appointed to the Punjab University despite the fact that the slot was lying vacant for the past two-and-a-half years.
To which, the secretary Higher Education Department submitted that the process for appointment of a permanent vice chancellor was completed in 2015, but it was delayed due to a pending case regarding the authority over VC’s appointment in the Lahore High Court (LHC).
He said that Dr Zafar Moeen was appointed as provisional vice chancellor from a panel of short-listed candidates by the search committee in the light of the LHC directions. Later, on January 5, 2018, Dr Zakria Zakar was appointed as acting vice chancellor after the resignation of Dr Zafar Moeen, he added.
The secretary also briefed the court that Dr Zakria Zakar was on top of the panel, short-listed by the search committee.
He further submitted that after the decision in the case, it was decided to re-advertise the post after revamping the rules for appointment of vice chancellors and the search committees. The cabinet had given approval for new search committee three days ago and after a meeting of the search committee, the post would be advertised in the next three days, he added.
However, the chief justice observed that why not the case should be referred to National Accountability Bureau over delay in the VC appointment.
The CJP also observed that Dr Zakria Zakar was allowed to work on VC slot as he gave university land for construction of a grid station.
But, Dr Zakria Zakar submitted that he did not give directives for selling the land, rather it was the syndicate which gave the approval in that regard.
At this, the chief justice questioned under what authority the land was given for grid station.
The chief justice ordered that Dr Zakria should be de-notified and sought seniority list of university’s senior professors.
To which, Dr Khalid Ranjha, on behalf of Dr Zakria, requested the bench to reconsider the orders.
But, the chief justice observed that the matter would be reviewed if Dr Zakria resigns from his post.
Later, the bench was apprised that Dr Zakria had tendered resignation from his post.
Then, the bench ordered for appointing a senior dean as the acting VC while allowing six weeks time for appointment of a new vice-chancellor.
Meanwhile, the bench disposed of a notice regarding the appointment of vice-chancellor to Nishtar Medical University, Multan, after being informed that the search committee had short-listed three candidates for the slot.
The bench also allowed another search committee for selection of King Edward Medical University’s vice chancellor to finalise its recommendations, while allowing Dr Amir Zaman to continue to act as pro vice-chancellor. Earlier, the search committee members briefed the court that they would complete their work within 10-15 days.
Meanwhile, the court issued notices to vice chancellors of Rawalpindi Medical University and two others, asking why not the search committees should be formed afresh for appointment of VCs to the said universities. – APP