GCU VC moves LHC against Punjab HEC chief selection committee


LAHORE: Government College University (GCU) Lahore Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah has moved the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the selection committee constituted by the Punjab chief minister for the appointment of Punjab Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairperson.

Prof Shah secured of 94 of 100 qualification points but was not called for the interview by the selection committee comprising Dr Attaur Rehman (convener), Dr Arif Nazir Butt, Dr Khalid Aftab, the former VC of GCU Lahore and Shahid Najam.

Prof Hassan Shah, through eminent lawyers Anwar Kamal and Rana Asadullah Khan, filed a writ petition 31009/19 in the LHC against the bias of the committee and prayed that the process adopted by the search committee constituted for the appointment of chairperson was declared void.

The petitioner contended that that the search committee has failed to perform its duties in accordance with principles of justice, equity, fair play and transparency. According to the Notification No So (Univ) PHEC-1/2018 dated 18-01-2019, the Government of the Punjab Higher Education Department notified the short listing criteria according to which candidates scoring 75 points would be short-listed for interview.

Justice Ayesha A Malik on Tuesday admitted the writ petition and noticed the Punjab chief minister and secretary higher education for May 19, 2019.

Advocates Anwar Kamal and Rana Asadullah Khan argued that the search committee did not have the jurisdiction and authority to bar eligible candidates securing 75 per cent points from being interviewed. “Since the qualification points were 100 and the interview points 100, it simply means that the search committee whimsically, unreasonably and with prejudiced mind ousted all eligible candidates clearing the bar at the notified 75 per cent,” they said.

Advocate Anwar Kamal contended that the search committee did not enjoy unfettered power or discretion. The obvious exercise of unbridled power is arbitrary, unlawful and ex-facie unreasonable.

He prayed the court that the Punjab government be graciously restrained from acting upon the legally flawed recommendations of the search committee.