Summary moved against PHEC Chairman over ignoring dissenting voices

Summary moved against PHEC Chairman over ignoring dissenting voices

Main Image Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid

LAHORE: The Punjab Secretary Higher Education Department (HED) Nadeem Mahbub has moved a summary against the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Prof. Dr. Fazal Ahmad Khalid over inaccurate recording of minutes of the 20th Meeting of the PHEC without incorporating the dissenting votes.

The summary against the PHEC Chairman has been sent to Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, which expressed serious concerns about the inaccurate recording in the meeting minutes.

The summary documents available with the Academia Magazine, reads, “It is proposed that the Chief Minister/ Controlling Authority may like to issue explanation to the Chairperson, PHEC, for the aforementioned acts of omission/ commission on account of inefficiency under Section 5(1), read with 6(4) of the PHEC Act, 2014.”

The 20th meeting of the PHEC was held in two sessions (16-10-2020 and 23-10-2020) under the chairperson.

“The minutes of the meeting were circulated by the Chairman, PHEC on 08-11-2020. Some members of the Commission have however, pointed out to the Chairman, PHEC, in writing, that the minutes have been issued without incorporating their dissenting views.”

“One of the members of the Commission, namely Dr Arif Butt, also pointed out that the minutes had been recorded inaccurately. The decision…consultation regarding implementation of the Recommendations of Inspection and Inquiry Committee constituted on 20.07.2020 in terms of directions of the Governor with reference to six private Universities.”

On the other hand, the summary stated in the second session of the PHEC mentioned that the majority of the Commission members were in support of the implementation of the recommendations of the Inquiry committee.

According to Section 9(5) of the PHEC Act, “All decisions of the commission shall be expressed in terms of the opinion of the majority of its members present and voting”.

However, in the minutes, it has been recorded that the decision was reached by majority without explaining how the majority was ascertained as there was no mention of voting being conducted on the issue.

Secretary Higher Education Department, Punjab said the case has been examined and it is stated that the instant matter of inaccurate recording of minutes of the 20th Meeting of the Punjab Higher Education Commission without incorporating the dissenting votes has already been highlighted by the Higher Education Department.

The dissenting views of Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education Department, Finance Department and Dr. Arif Butt, a member of the Commission, materially affect the outcome of the decision made on the agenda item No.11 of the second Session of the PHEC, held on 23-09-2020, the summary explains the case against the PHEC.

Secondly, recording of the minutes of the 20th meeting of the PHEC by the Chairperson without incorporating the views of the members and without ascertaining the majority through voting is in contravention to Section 9(5) of the PHEC Act and is unbecoming of an officer.

The summary stated, “Section 5(1) of the PHEC Act, 2014 stipulates that the Controlling Authority (Chief Minister) shall be the appointing authority of the Chairperson, PHEC (Annex-G). Moreover, Section 6(4) of the PHEC reads: “The Chairperson or any member may not be removed from the office before the expiry of their term except for proven charges of corruption, inefficiency, permanent disability or failure to attend three consecutive meetings without intimation in advance.”

It is pertinent to mention that incumbent PHEC Chairman assumed the charge back in June 2019.

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