A professor of University of Sargodha, Mian Javed Ahmed, who was arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in October in connection with 'opening illegal campuses and minting millions from students', reportedly died in judicial custody in Lahore District Jail on Friday.
According to the Lahore District Jail authorities, the incarcerated professor experienced a cardiac arrest and was rushed to Services Hospital where the doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.
On Thursday, in the ongoing illegal campuses case, the accountability bureau obtained an extension in the judicial remand until January 2 for Ahmed and four other professors arrested in the same case.
The university's former registrar retired Brig Rao Jamil, Mandi Bahauddin sub-campus CEO Waris and his partner Naeem, and former director of administration Akram were the other suspects arrested by NAB.
The suspects had purportedly made millions by opening illegal campuses in Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin.
The NAB alleged that hundreds of students who studied at the illegal campuses of the university were charged millions of rupees. However, neither were examinations conducted nor were the students issued degrees. The affected students have time and again staged protests against the university administration.
Following the protests, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had taken notice of the issue and referred the case to the NAB Lahore director general.
NAB issues clarification
Following the professor's death, the NAB's Lahore chapter issued a clarification, mentioning that the suspect had been in judicial remand since October and that his good health had been verified by jail authorities before he was taken into custody.
"The deceased had been shifted to jail in good health," the statement said, adding that the professor had been taken to Services Hospital today "after he experienced chest pains".
"According to regulations, jail authorities do not take custody of a suspect if his health is deteriorating," NAB said in its statement.
The accountability bureau strongly condemned the notion that the professor passed away in NAB's custody and expressed grief over his passing.
Senate Standing Committee for Human Rights takes notice
Senate Standing Committee for Human Rights Chairman Mustafa Nawaz took notice of the professor's death and summoned the NAB director general and the IG Prisons Punjab in person at the committee's next meeting.
"A person's death under custody is a grave matter," the chairman said.
He ordered that details regarding the professor's incarceration and the ongoing case, along with his health records be provided at the earliest.
"It is evident that the law is being used against the weak," he remarked, adding that the law was "like a spider's web for the powerful".
"What sort of accountability is this, the scope of which does not extend beyond students and politicians?" the chairman said in criticism of the bureau.