MULTAN: Officials of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) arrested Bahauddin Zakariya University’s former registrar Malik Munir Hussain on Wednesday soon after a special anti-corruption court did not confirm his pre-arrest bail in connection with “appointments on fake documents.”
Mr Hussain appeared in the court of special judge anti-corruption, Mian Muhammad Ilyas, for confirmation of his bail that was granted one week ago. The court, however, refused to confirm the bail after which the ACE staff quickly arrested Mr Hussain who tried to resist the move.
The accused was sent to the Chehliyak police station lockup and will be produced in court for physical remand on Thursday (today).
It all started when the president and other office-bearers of the Academic Staff Association (ASA) of the university dispatched a letter to various authorities, pointing out financial and administrative irregularities including the appointment of 20 admin officers in the university in 2010. Although the then office-bearers of the ASA disowned the letter, the ACE initiated investigation and an FIR No 12/14 was lodged under section 468/471, 409/109 and 5/2/47 on March 25, 2014 against Dr Shahida Begum Niazi, Prof Dr Bashir Ahmed Chaudhry, Prof Dr Ijaz Ahmed, then controller examination Waqar Ahmed Qureshi, treasurer Maqsood Ahmed Chaudhry, Additional Registrar Sohaib Rashid Khan and 15 admin officers whose documents proved fake.
Court hearing misconduct case denies bail to ex-officer
Three members of the selection committee from teaching side were exonerated during the investigation as it was established that they had no role in the verification of the documents and it was the responsibility of the Registrar Office to scrutinise the candidates and later verify their documents.
The name of Mr Hussain was included in the FIR for failing to scrutinise the candidates and verify the documents.
According to sources, a meeting of a seven-member selection committee was called to interview the candidates; however, it was postponed. Later, the committee selected admin officers while keeping in view the academic performance and experience of the candidates.
They said the registrar was demanding that three candidates including his brother be accommodated but was offered one seat and he rejected it and did not sign the recommendations of the committee though he attended its meetings that were held to conduct the interviews.
The university administration, they said, issued appointment letters to the successful candidates subject to verification of the documents and they gave their joining. Two aspirants Qamar Saeed and Rana Liaquat moved the Lahore High Court challenging the appointments and the judge directed the university administration to inquire about their concerns and submit a report to court.
The salaries of these admin officers were paid to them through bills as the slot of VC fell vacant after the retirement of former VC Dr Zaffarullah and their salaries could not be computerised. These candidates submitted their affidavits to the university that they would be bound to return their salaries in case of any adverse decision by court or by the university in case of verification of documents.
Meanwhile, on the direction of the VC, then registrar Dr Muhammad Ali Shah got verified the documents of the admin officers through a committee which disclosed that 15 admin officers had submitted bogus documents. The VC constituted another committee for further confirmation and this time it declared that the documents of 12 admin officers were fake, exonerating three of those previously brought in the dock.
The report of the committee was submitted to the LHC and the ACE which arrested 15 admin officers in June 2014. The establishment was of the view that although the case was lodged against 12 admin officers, actually 15 had bogus documents.
Sources in the ACE disclosed that the investigation team cleared the suspects without witnesses and documents after it was ‘approached’ by the stakeholders. They said that after being aware of the ‘efficiency’ of its investigation team, the then ACE Multan director, Naseer Memon, took notice and once again the investigation team declared the suspects guilty.
Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2015