PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court has sought the response of Peshawar Diocese Bishop Humphery Sarfaraz Peter about an application of senior teacher of Edwardes College Prof Gulzar Ahmad Jalal seeking his inclusion as respondent in the former’s petition, which called for orders to declare the historical college a private entity.

Issuing a notice, a bench consisting of Justice Syed Afsar Shah and Justice Mohammad Ayub Khan directed Bishop Humphery to respond to Prof Gulzar’s plea on June 12 and adjourned the hearing into the main petition until then.

The applicant said he was a member of the board of governors (BoG) of Edwardes College representing staff and was a necessary party to the writ petition, so he should be included in the panel of respondents.

Last month, Peshawar Diocese Bishop Humphery had filed the petition requesting the court to declare Edwardes College a private educational institution and restrain the respondents, including the provincial governor from interfering in its administration and other affairs.

Senior teacher wants to be part of petition seeking private entity status for college

A bench had sought comments on May 13 from the governor, chief secretary and higher education secretary and directed them not to make any move, which will adversely affect the college’s affairs.

In the petition, Bishop Humphery Sarfaraz Peter said he was the BoG chairman and moderator of the Church of Pakistan and the Diocesan Committee had authorised him on Mar 15 to take all possible legal action against any interference from the governor, the government, its high officials or any individual in the college’s affairs.

A controversy surrounds the management of the college, which was established in 1900, as traditionally, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor acts as the chairman of the board of governors (BoG) but in a judgment delivered in 2016, the court was ruled that the Edwardes College was a private entity and not government one.

Farmanullah Khattak, lawyer for applicant Gulzar Jalal, said the Edwardes College had begun educational services in 1900 and it was affiliated with the University of Punjab in its early days.

He added that the college was affiliated with the University of Peshawar for its various courses, including its bachelor degree programme, in late 1950s.

The lawyer said all privately-managed schools and colleges were taken over by the government in 1972 under Regulation No 118 called as ‘the Privately Managed School and Colleges (Taking Over) Regulation, 1972, and subsequently in notification was issued in 1974 by the education department of NWFP, now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, through which a BoG was created for the functioning of the college.

He said the college’s affairs were then run by the BoG, which approved the Edwardes College Services Rules, 1991, for effective management and set terms and conditions for employment.

The lawyer said the applicant was a member of the BoG formed by the government and he had the right to be heard about the petition.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2019