SC reinstates teachers charged with plagiarism


LAHORE: Full bench of Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday reinstated two Punjab University Center for High Energy of Physics (CHEP) assistant professors that were sacked by the varsity administration on the charges of plagiarism. Dr Maqsood Ahmad and Dr Alam Saeed are among the restored teachers whereas two other teachers Sohail Afzal and Rasheed Ahmad, who were also sacked, still wait for the Lahore High Court judgment.
The bench headed by SC Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and including Justice Jawad Khawaja and Justice Khalil-ur-Rahman Ramday held that the assistant professors were removed by the governor, the chancellor of the university, who was not a competent authority to remove them from the services.
Allowing their appeals against their removal orders, the court held that as the university did not adopt legal course of proceedings against them, the university authorities were at liberty to hold departmental proceedings against them. Appellants Maqsood Ahmed and Alam Saeed had submitted that the university authorities did not adopt legal course in removing them. Their counsel submitted that the vice chancellor sought assistance from syndicate committee which recommended the seizure of their increments. They further said that the syndicate could not prove plagiarism and the chancellor went beyond the limits and instead of seizing their increments, removed them from services.
During the proceedings, Justice Khawaja remarked that the university should make a boundary of 10 kilometer radius to bar the plagiarists from entering its premises.
Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) President Prof Mahar Saeed appreciated the SC’s decision and said the professors have welcomed the decision that has settled the issue. While talking to Pakistan Today, CHEP Director Haris Rasheed also appreciated the decision and said he was expecting the same decision by the Lahore High Court as well. CHEP’s another professor Fazl-e-Aleem was overjoyed and said the cases against Prof Sohail Afzal and Prof Rasheed Ahmad could now automatically be decided. He said the teachers were sacked through an SC order and now after the latest ruling, LHC could definitely reinstate the other
two teachers.
Dr Fazl-e-Aleem further said that earlier all four teachers were forcibly retired in February, 2008 and then the case went to the High Court single bench, and after the plea rejection they went to the LHC double bench, and finally the case went to the Supreme Court. He said the inquiry committee report was not based on facts and did not prove anything against the aforesaid teachers.