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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Thursday issued notices to the chief secretary, secretary education and other respondents on a petition of Sindh University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Fateh Mohammad Burfat challenging the formation of an inquiry committee currently probing allegations against him.

The petitioner through his lawyer moved the SHC and contended that the provincial authorities had constituted an inquiry committee headed by Naheed Durrani to probe the corruption allegations against the petitioner.

However, the counsel argued that the inquiry committee was formed in violation of the law as only an officer of the same rank/grade may conduct inquiry against the petitioner.

The lawyer for petitioner argued that the provincial government has been trying to remove his client from the post, maintaining that the petitioner was willing to face the allegations and pleaded for formation of the committee in accordance with law.

The petitioner also asked the court to restrain the inquiry committee from taking any illegal action against him.

The two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui issued notices to the respondents and also barred the inquiry committee from taking any unlawful action against the petitioner.

The VC was placed under suspension in May until finalisation of the inquiry against him over allegations of misconduct, inefficiency and corruption. However, an SHC bench in Hyderabad had suspended operation of the impugned notification last month after Dr Burfat approached the court.

Missing persons

Another SHC bench on Thursday expressed dissatisfaction over the reports by the police and Federal Investigation Agency and directed the FIA to come up with the travel history of missing persons within a month.

When a set of identical petitions seeking recovery of missing persons came up for hearing before a two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto, the investigating officers of police and FIA filed progress reports.

The bench directed the police to lodge a case about the disappearance of Farrukh Hashmi, who reportedly went missing from the Karachi airport. An FIA report said that Hashmi had no travel history abroad.

The bench deplored that a man went missing from the airport, but the FIA has no record about him. While expressing resentment over the reports, the court directed the FIA to file reports about the travel history of missing persons and yet again directed the authorities concerned to make serious efforts to locate the whereabouts of missing persons.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2019