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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday stayed the process for the appointment of vice chancellor for the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) and sought replies from Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) and other authorities.

Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal Randhawa had filed a petition questioning illegalities being committed in the impugned appointment process.

Advocate Ahsan Bhoon argued on behalf of the petitioner that direction of the high court had not been implemented in the process initiated for the appointment of the vice chancellor. He said the search committee formed for the appointment, as per the court’s directions, was supposed to also invite applications from overseas candidates.

Moreover, he said the search committee started the appointment process on the basis of last year’s advertisement and criteria different from other universities. He said the criteria laid down by the high court were meant for all universities.

Advocate Bhoon alleged that the criteria adopted by the search committee was person specific and to accommodate a former vice chancellor of the university who was a close relative of a sitting provincial minister.

He asked the court to stop the appointment process and direct the authorities to initiate fresh process in the light of the criteria laid down by the high court.

A law officer told the court that interviews of 59 candidates had been conducted and a summary [was] sent to the chief minister. He said staying the process at this stage would not be appropriate.

However, the chief justice stayed the appointment process and sought replies from the PHEC and other authorities by Dec 10.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2017