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The Supreme Court on Thursday ended the legal tussle between the Sindh government and the Aisha Bawany Trust by allowing the former to keep custody of the Ayesha Bawani Government College until 2019.

An SC bench — headed by Justice Azmat Saeed — allowed the government to keep custody of the school until 2019, after which it will be handed over to the trust.

During the proceedings, the Sindh government also handed a Rs8.5 million cheque to the Ayesha Bawani Trust administration.

The court allowed the trust to register the college under a different name but barred it from admitting more students until the handing over of the college in 2019.

The Sindh government has been directed to hand over three of the 17 classrooms of the college to the trust by October 31, so that it may conduct classes for its students.

"Both sides would face severe consequences if they fail to abide by the court's orders," Justice Azmat Saeed warned. "If the court's orders are not upheld, contempt proceedings can be initiated against the perpetrators."

Legal tussle

Last month, the Aisha Bawany Trust had closed off and sealed the college building after obtaining an order from a local court.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) had ordered immediate reopening of one of the country’s oldest colleges, suspending the order of the subordinate court. However, classes did not resume until after the students protested, and an authorised official of SHC reopened the institution and handed over its possession to its principal.

The matter was then referred to the SC after the SHC threw out the contempt of court applications filed by the Aisha Bawany Trust and the provincial government against each other for defying court orders.

Dismissing both the applications, a single bench headed by Justice Fahim Siddiqui had ruled that the matter pertaining to the ownership and possession of the Aisha Bawany College would be decided by the SC.