–CJP dismisses LCWU VC, asks VCs of three public universities to resign
–SC directs govt to acquire cholesterol treatment machine in 10 days
–Justice Nisar says will get to bottom of PIC mismanagement case
LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Sunday remarked the state of education in Punjab is in complete disarray while dismissing the vice-chancellor (VC) of Lahore College for Women University.
As the Supreme Court resumed hearing the suo motu notice of reports that LCWU VC Dr Uzma Quraishi was appointed to the post without merit, the CJP summoned Dr Uzma.
Appearing before the court, the VC clarified that Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal had no role in her appointment after the chief justice remarked that they are aware of Iqbal’s role in the matter.
The chief justice questioned how seniors were sidelined in the appointment process, adding that, “the state of education has been destroyed”. “This is the Punjab government,” he remarked further.
The top court, while dismissing the VC, observed that Quraishi can plead her case in front of a search committee after she requested the court not to dismiss her as it would affect her reputation.
Punjab Higher Education Minister Raza Ali Gillani also appeared before the court and informed the bench that Quraishi’s appointment was not undertaken in his tenure, adding that the inquiry of the matter was forwarded to him for which a committee has been established.
The apex court further issued directives, removing several interim VCs of public universities in Punjab and ordered permanent appointments in their place.
The CJP ordered that the senior most faculty member should be made the interim VC for the time being.
The Punjab advocate general informed the bench that a search committee has been formed which comprises Razzaq Dawood, Zafar Iqbal Quraishi and Umar Saif.
Chief Justice Nisar approved the body’s members and remarked that the committee will recommend names for appointment of VCs at public sector universities.
The SC also asked the VCS of Fatima Jinnah Medical University (FJMU), Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) and Faisalabad Medical University (FMU) to resign from their offices.
Three search committees were also formed for the selection of new VCs of universities, directing them to complete the process as soon as possible.
The bench also tasked the search committees to appoint acting vice chancellors from among the senior most professors of the universities.
As the proceedings started, FJMU VC Prof Dr Khalid Masood Gondal, RMU VC Prof Dr Muhammad Umar and FMU VC Prof Dr Farid Zafar, along with the secretary health, appeared before the court in response to the court notices. The court had issued notices to the VCs to explain why not search committees for selection of VCs be formed afresh, after expressing reservations on the earlier appointments.
Responding to a query, the secretary health apprised the bench about the members of the search committees, who had recommended the panels for the appointment of VCs to the universities.
At this, the bench formed new search committees and directed them to complete the process as soon as possible, while asking the VCs to resign from their posts. The bench directed the search committee members to recommend the panel on merit.
Meanwhile, the bench also formed a new search committee for selection of a permanent vice chancellor of the King Edward Medical University (KEMU), Lahore.
‘ACQUIRE CHOLESTEROL TREATMENT MACHINE IN 10 DAYS’:
Meanwhile, hearing a suo motu case on lack of treatment for children born with cholesterol, Justice Saqib Nisar ordered the Punjab government to obtain within 10 days the machine required to treat patients with high cholesterol.
Heading the two-member Supreme Court bench, the chief justice observed that if no treatment is available when a patient cannot be left to die.
The chief justice wondered as to why no hospital in the country has this machine, saying that if the government does not have the funds then the court can take assistance from rich persons and get it itself. To this, Punjab Health Minister Salman Rafique assured the court that the machine will be imported and all relevant facilities provided.
Medical expert professor Ayaz informed the bench that there is no treatment for the ailment the world over, adding that the children will be monitored at the Services Hospital. To this, the chief justice said the children need to be treated not monitored.
As the hearing went underway, the parents of a child said they were mistreated in the hospital and sought some other relief until the machine comes to Pakistan. The chief justice said that the children will be treated in Pakistan and the parents should not seek an excuse to leave the country.
Moreover, during the hearing, the chief justice asked the health minister that his presence is not required at every hearing, but added that he should inform his brother, Federal Railways Minister Saad Rafique, that, “something can happen anytime”.
CJP DIRECTS TO PLACE PIC MEMBER AFZAL BHATTI NAME ON ECL:
Separately, hearing the suo motu case of alleged irregularities in Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), Chief Justice Saqib Nisar directed to place name of Punjab Overseas Commissioner and member board of Punjab Institute of Cardiology Afzal Bhatti on Exit Control List (ECL) and ordered Lahore National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Director General (DG) Saleem Shehzad to probe into the case.
A two-member divisional bench, headed by chief justice along with Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, conducted the proceedings.
Khawaja Salman Rafique, PIC Head Nadeem Hayat and others also appeared before the court.
The chief justice asked as to how a dual national [Afzal Bhatti] is appointed as overseas commissioner and PIC Board member. The chief justice was also informed that he was receiving an amount of Rs0.5 million monthly. To this, Saqib Nisar remarked that how could he receive such a high salary when a chief secretary, who is at the top of the bureaucracy in a province, is receiving Rs180,000. “We cannot neglect the recruitments on favouritism,” he said, adding that matter would be sent to the NAB for further investigation.
“The court will get to the bottom of the PIC mismanagement case,” the CJP remarked.
The chief justice summoned the Lahore NAB chief and ordered to place the name of Afzal Bhatti on ECL. The court summoned all concerned in the case on April 28.
SUO MOTU ON SECURITY PROTOCOL:
Earlier, hearing the suo motu on security for non-essential personnel, the chief justice remarked that the 4,610 policemen recalled from protocol duties of non-essential personnel by the Punjab government cost the public exchequer Rs38 billion a year.
The bench observed further that these numbers don’t include the cost of fuel and vehicles.
“If the same money was spent on health and education things would have been different,” Chief Justice Nisar observed.
On Thursday, Chief Justice Nisar had directed inspector-generals of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and Islamabad to take back security protocols from people who don’t have that privilege.
The police chief of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had already recalled security officials as per the court’s orders.
As a result, around 13,000 police officials were called back from their respective security duties.