LAHORE: Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday suspended a decision of the Punjab University syndicate of giving its 80-kanal land to the government for the construction of a grid station and summoned members of the syndicate along with details of its approval.

Taking exception to the syndicate’s decision, the chief justice also directed the government to immediately denotify PU acting vice chancellor Prof Dr Zakraya Zakir. However, Mr Zakir tendered his resignation on the advice of his counsel.

“Go and acquire some land of chief minister’s house or in Raiwind if grid station is so important,” said the chief justice.

“The government appoints people like you to get its legal or illegal demands fulfilled,” CJP Nisar told Mr Zakir in a pointblank dialogue adding, “The reason behind your appointment is revealed now.”

Orders govt to denotify vice chancellor

Defending his position, acting VC Zakir said it was not him but the syndicate which approved the sale of the land to the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) for the establishment of a grid station.

“Who authorised the syndicate to take such decisions,” asked the chief justice and observed that a land allocated for education purpose could not be used for any other purpose in any case. He also hinted at referring the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for a thorough inquiry.

The chief justice summoned all the members of the syndicate with minutes of its meeting today (Sunday).

Meanwhile, the chief justice expressed concern over the unavailability of a regular vice chancellor at the Punjab University for over two years.

“Are you waiting for the return of Mujahid Kamran [former vice chancellor],” the chief justice asked secretary higher education Nabeel Awan.

The secretary said there had been some litigation before the Lahore high court regarding the appointment. However, he said a new search committee had been approved three days ago.

Advocate General Punjab Shakilur Rehman Khan also assured the court that the regular vice chancellor would be appointed soon.

SECURITY WITHDRAWAL: Inspector General of Police retired Capt Arif Nawaz told the Supreme Court that 4,610 personnel had been withdrawn from the security of VVIPs persons.

He said the persons whose security had been either withdrawn or curtailed included 297 political figures, 537 officers of civil administration, 469 judges of subordinate courts, 54 media persons/organisations and 23 lawyers. The IGP revealed that each personnel deputed for the security cost Rs25,000 per month.

CJP Nisar expressed satisfaction over the report and told the IGP that the court just wanted him to withdraw security from those who were not entitled to it. He said the police could provide security to any person having risk to life under its policy.

On pointing out by a senior lawyer, the chief justice directed the police to restore security of Advocate Saiful Malook, who faced life threats for being counsel of Aasia Bibi (a convict under blasphemy law).

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2018