CJP shames NAB DG for putting PU ex-vice chancellor, professors in handcuff


LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday took a suo motu notice of Punjab University former vice-chancellor Mujahid Kamran and other professors appearing in court in handcuffs.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested Kamran and the other professors over allegations of corruption, illegal appointments and nepotism and brought them to court to seek physical remand.

Justice Nisar had on Friday taken notice of the ‘disrespectful’ way the professors had been handcuffed and brought to court.

At the outset of the hearing, NAB Lahore Director General Saleem Shahzad issued an apology before the court and conceded that it had been a mistake to handcuff the teachers as it inadvertently humiliated them.

“I am deeply ashamed and ask the whole nation for forgiveness,” he said.

The court ordered Shahzad to personally apologise to Kamran and the other professors and instructed that a written apology also be submitted to the court.

“If you are at fault, I will give instructions for the registration of a case against you,” Chief Justice Saqib Nisar warned, adding: “Then you can go around seeking bail and I can put you in handcuffs for the world to see.”

Upon hearing this, Shahzad got teary-eyed, prompting the chief justice to further remark: “Now that you yourself are in the hot seat, you are moved to tears.”

Scrambling to offer some explanation for the decision to arrest the PU professors, the NAB DG said: “We put Mujahid Kamran in handcuffs due to security reasons. I have gone and personally apologised to him and the other professors.”

The NAB prosecutor, in the bureau’s defence, continued: “We have done a great deal to fight corruption.”

“What have you done? What has the NAB done?” CJP Nisar retorted, adding that NAB had done “nothing but make a mockery out of people”.

“I had high hopes from you, but look at what you’re doing. If you are not fit to serve this post then you must leave it,” he said, addressing Shahzad.

“Tell me, do you want to work for this institution or not? You put into handcuffs people who provided education to children. I saw the video of the handcuffed university officials at 12 in the night and called up the NAB chairman. He said he was unaware of the incident and assured me that the Lahore NAB DG will satisfy me in this regard,” the chief justice said.

“Putting Mujahid Kamran and other professors in handcuffs is akin to killing their dignity. I will not tolerate the disrespect of teachers in this manner,” the chief justice warned.

The hearing concluded with the submission of DG Shahzad’s written apology, which was accepted by the court.

The case was at the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court. The deputy inspector general (DIG) was also summoned by the CJP.

Lahore NAB DG Saleem Shahzad had also been directed to initiate a probe into the matter by NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal.

“Why was a teacher brought to the court in handcuffs? Strict action will be taken against those responsible for this. Disciplinary action should be taken against those responsible in the next three days. No shortcomings will be tolerated,” he had said.

The NAB Lahore on Thursday arrested former vice chancellor (VC) of the Punjab University Dr Mujahid Kamran along with five ex-registrars over their alleged involvement in a case pertaining to illegal appointments and corruption.

As per the details, Dr Kamran was arrested after he appeared before NAB at its office for the hearing of a corruption case. Following his arrest, the ex-VC provided the bureau with information that led to the arrest of five former registrars as well, namely Dr Auranzeb, Alamgir, Dr Liaqat Ali, Dr Ras Saud and Amin Athar.

The arrestees had allegedly played an important role in making as many as 550 illegal appointments at the Punjab University between the years 2013 and 2016. According to sources, all the illegal appointments were made in grade 17 and above.