LHC halts Vice Chancellors appointment process in Punjab

LHC halts Vice Chancellors appointment process in Punjab

LHC on Vice Chancellors appointment

Lahore High Court (LHC) Bahawalpur Bench has halted the appointment process of Vice Chancellors of 24 universities in Punjab. The selection process of vice-chancellors of 24 universities of Punjab was in process as the interviews were started on May 22.

In the first phase, interviews were held for the vice-chancellors of specialized (engineering) universities. However, the LHC Bahawalpur bench issued a verdict to halt the selection. The ruling of the honorable court said, “Issue raised pertains to the powers of the Caretaker Provincial Government of Punjab, in particular, the authority of Caretaker Chief Minister to appoint/selection Vice Chancellor of various Universities. Learned counsel submits that process was initiated and even short-listing of candidates is taking place, which proceedings starting from the advertisement and selection process, are in violation of Section 230 of the Election Act, 2017 and the Notification dated 22.01.2023, issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Submits that the Caretaker Provincial Cabinet has neither any authority to initiate and appoint/ selection Vice Chancellors nor any competence to do so after the lapse of 90 days from the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the Caretaker Government of Punjab established two search committees for the appointment of Vice Chancellors in public sector universities of Punjab under the supervision of former Executive Director Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Sohail Naqvi and senior Educationist Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi.

The universities were divided into two categories for the appointment of VCs. The search committee proposed for Category 1 universities will be led by Dr Sohail Naqvi whereas other members include Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, Social Activists and Philanthropist Dr Amjad Saqib, Chairperson Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Dr Shahid Munir and Secretary Higher Education Department (HED).

This committee was responsible for appointing Vice Chancellors in BahaudDin Zakariya University Multan, University of Gujrat, Government College University (GCU) Faisalabad, University of the Punjab Lahore, Government College University (GCU) Lahore, University of Education Lahore, University of Sargodha, Islamia University of Bahawalpur.

However, the other search committee for Category 2 universities was led by Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi. Other members include former Chairperson PHEC Dr Nizam ud Din, Dr Amjad Saqib, and Chairman PHEC Dr Shahid Munir. This committee was responsible for appointing VC in 10 universities including Baba Guru Nanak University Nankana, Kohsar University Murree, Emerson University Multan, Thal University of Bhakkar, University of Kamalia, University of Layyah, University of Jhang, University of Narowal, University of Okara and the University of Sahiwal.

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