SZABMU VC threatened of disciplinary action if makes appointments

  • Acting vice-chancellor resigns in protest over undue interference of CADD

ISLAMABAD: Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) has stopped acting vice-chancellor of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) Dr Abid Farooqi from exercising his powers of making appointments, or else disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against him.

Sources told Pakistan Today that the acting VC had sent his resignation to the president in protest as there is a strong resentment among the university’s officials over what they call undue interference of CADD in the affairs of the university.

They said that owing to the issuance of such orders, the affairs of the university had been badly disturbed as a number of important appointments were still pending.

They expressed surprise the way the CADD ministry was interfering in the affairs of the university despite its separation from PIMS, creating problems for both the institutions instead of easing their woes.

CADD Section Officer Javed Akbar Sheikh, in his letter to the SZABMU VC, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, directed the VC to withdraw the orders of assigning the charge of the registrar to Dr M Hafeez and controller examination to Hamid Mahmood.

“I am directed to refer to SZABMU notification dated February 9, 2018, and February 15, 2018, in which the charge of posts of registrar and controller examination is assigned to Dr M Hafeez and Hamid Mahmood,” the letter read.

He directed that these positions were created by an act of parliament and are required to be filled by the syndicate. In such cases where syndicate has already filled these positions, an order made by syndicate can only be undone by a prescribed authority and the incumbent position holder cannot be removed by VC under Section 13 (1) of SZABMU Act, 2013.

“Additionally since the legality of your holding the position of SZABMU VC has already been questioned before the lawful authority, it is therefore advised that you should not exercise any substantive power of VC until a decision regarding the legality of your appointment is made by the competent authority,” Javed added.

Moreover, he directed the vice-chancellor to withdraw all such orders and refrain from making matter anomalous, instead of creating legal liabilities for all lawful stakeholders.

“Since you are a BS-20 civil servant, you may avoid such actions otherwise disciplinary proceedings will be initiated against you under E&D Rules, 1973,” he warned.

When contacted by Pakistan Today, Dr Abid Farooqi said that CADD is the parent ministry for this university, but does not have the power to dictate appointments of university officers. He added that this letter from the ministry was definitely contestable in the court, and in fact, the acting registrar had filed a petition to this effect already.

“I do not agree with the ministry’s stance and could have gone to court myself. But I have chosen not to as I do not want a confrontation on the issue,” he added.

“I have been given this task through fate and had looked upon this duty till such time that the government appointed a regular VC. It is up to the government to streamline these affairs since I am not an aspirant for this post,” Farooqi added.

The acting VC said that it is in light of such uncalled for interference that he has asked the president to allow him to relinquish him from the post and arrange a regular VC. “Even this letter has not drawn any response after a gap of more than 10 days and affairs of the university are beginning to suffer. It is a sad state of affairs,” he lamented.

Despite repeated attempts and text messages, CADD Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhary and CADD Secretary Azhar Ali Chaudhry could not be reached for their comments on the issue.