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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday restrained University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) acting Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan from functioning and directed its Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal to look after the varsity’s affairs.

Prof Dr Sarwar had filed a petition challenging the appointment of acting VC at the university for being illegal.

Advocate Ahsan Bhoon represented the petitioner and argued that law did not allow appointment of an acting VC in the absence of a regular one. He said under the law Pro-VC was supposed to run affairs of the university till appointment of the permanent VC.

The counsel pointed out that the respondent, Prof Dr Khan, had already held the office of the VC twice.

The university’s legal adviser told the court that the chancellor/governor had the power to appoint any professor as acting VC to look after administrative affairs.

Advocate Bhoon retorted that the chancellor could exercise such power but in the absence of Pro-VC. He reiterated that the appointment of acting VC was clearly in violation of the law.

Issuing an interim order, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah restrained the respondent (acting VC) from functioning and entrusted the charge to Pro-VC. The CJ observed that the acting VC would neither preside over syndicate meeting nor take any administrative decision.

CJ Shah adjourned hearing for a week and also asked the chancellor to decide the matter regarding appointment of a permanent VC of the university or the interim charge given to Pro-VC.

Hearing another petition, the chief justice sought reply from the provincial government regarding progress in the appointment of a permanent vice chancellor of the Punjab University.

Prof Dr Zaid Mahmood filed a petition questioning unnecessary delay in appointment of the regular VC of PU and eligibility of acting VC Prof Dr Zafar Moeen.

A law officer told the court that the process for the appointment of the VC was in process and fresh advertisement for the post would be made soon.

The CJ adjourned hearing till Aug 17 and directed the law officer to submit a written reply to the petition.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2017