A division bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) consisting of Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Faisal Zaman Khan rejected the Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) filed by the Punjab government against the earlier decision of the single member bench comprising Justice Shahid Karim on Monday while announcing vice-chancellors (VCs) of four public sector universities for the interim arrangements.
According to the details, Dr Uzma Quraishi, Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad, Dr Muhammad Zuber and Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasar have been given the acting charge for the interim set-up in Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), University of Sargodha (UoS), Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology (MNS-UET) Multan, and University of the Punjab, respectively.
Earlier, Dr Mujahid Kamran, Dr Uzma Qureshi, Dr Nazra Sultana and Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid were serving as VCs in University of the Punjab, LCWU, UoS and MNS-UET, respectively.
Justice Shahid Karim of LHC had declared illegal the appointments of these VCs on December 1 on a petition filed by Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir, Samee Uzair Khan and some others.
Justice Shahid Karim directed in his judgement to appoint senior most professor as the vice chancellor while ordering the federal Higher Education Commission to initiate a fresh process for the appointments and to complete it within one month.
It is pertinent to mention here that the process of VCs appointments was made earlier by the provincial higher education department.
The initial judgement of ICA has two parts in which VCs have been named for the interim arrangement, whereas it has yet to be decided who will make the permanent appointment of VCs – federal HEC or provincial higher education department. The next hearing of ICA has been set for January 12, 2017.
Punjab University Law College’s former principal, Samee Uzair Khan, and one of the petitioners who had challenged the appointments of VCs, told Pakistan Today that the dark age of Punjab University has been over, as Dr Mujahid Kamran is no more a VC – who has previously enjoyed two consecutive terms in the coveted office.
“I spent my whole day in the court where Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked that the court will never accept the old guards as VCs in their offices,” Khan said – who was running the ‘Safe PU movement’ for long against Mujahid Kamran.
According to sources, these VCs have been picked from a list prepared by the search committee in a process done in January this year when three names against every slot were forwarded to the CM secretariat and the name of Dr Uzma Qureshi (LCWU) was also included in that list; therefore, she has been officially allowed to continue her job.