Karachi – 12th June, 2014: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has ordered provincial authorities to refrain from allowing vice chancellors of any university, to continue their third tenure in office, as it will be a violation of Sindh University Laws (Amendment) Act 2013. The court has ruled that; “No person shall be allowed to continue or complete third tenure of his office of vice chancellor in any university in the province against the law”.
According to recent reports, the court while dismissing the petitions filed by Prof. Dr. Masood Hameed Khan – VC of Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Nazir A Mughal – VC of Sindh University, who had earlier challenged the Sindh University Laws (Amendment) Act 2013. The court ruled that both VCs cease to hold the office, with immediate effect, at the end of their second tenure.
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar who headed a division bench of SHC announced its two separate verdicts in five petitions pertaining to the appointment of DUHS and SU Vice chancellors. One of the petitions was filed by the DUHS vice chancellor himself against new university law promulgated by the assembly that restricted third tenure of the VCs of the universities in the province.
The other two petitions against his appointment were filed by Dr Attaur Rahman and Dr Sher Shah Syed. The VC of SU also approached court against the law, requesting it to strike down the law. Meanwhile, a lawyer – Nauman Sahito had also filed another petition against his appointment.
The VC of DUHS had stated in his petition that; he was appointed for a period of four years from Jan 14, 2012 and he had acquired a right, so as to remain VC till Jan 14, 2016. However, he submitted that authorities were bent upon terminating his services, upon the strength of the impugned law, to employ a blue-eyed person in his place.
The petitioner, Prof Surgeon Dr Ataur Rehman, submitted that according to the Sindh Universities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2013, the VC who has remained in office for more than two terms shall, on commencement of this Act, cease to hold office.
In his petition, Mughal had stated that; the government has reduced the qualification required for the appointment on the post of VC and it was inviting applications from VCs of five public universities, wishing appoint a person of its own choice. He further stated that; “My tenure would expire on January 8, 2016, after a two-year extension by the Sindh governor, but the government wants to remove me from the post under the garb of Sindh Universities Laws Amendment Act 2013.
The court directed provincial authorities to implement the Sindh University Laws (Amendment) Act 2013, across the board, without any discrimination.