PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench has directed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, chief minister and secretary higher education department to file comments within three days in a writ petition challenging the non-advertising of post of Peshawar Islamia College University vice-chancellor despite completion of his term by the last incumbent and allowing him to continue against the said post.

The bench of Justice Syed Arshid Ali and Justice Wiqar Ahmad issued the order in a writ petition filed by Islamia College Teaching Staff Association president Dr Dil Nawaz Khan, claiming that the outgoing vice-chancellor Dr Habib Ahmad and chief minister belonged to Matta tehsil of Swat, therefore, efforts were in progress to give extension to the former for another three years contrary to the provisions of Universities Act, 2012.

The bench directed the respondents to provide copy of their comments to the petitioner so that if he desired he should file a rejoinder to the comments.

As Dr Habib Ahmad is presently on leave till September 5 and the university’s pro-vice chancellor Dr Naushad has been acting as VC, therefore, the bench declined to pass any order on request of the petitioner for interim relief of suspending the governor’s notification of July 31 through which the outgoing VC was allowed to continue on the said post till arrival of regular VC.

Petitioner claims CM wants to give extension to outgoing VC as both belong to same area

The bench fixed September 3 for final arguments in the case with the direction that if counsels for the respondents could not make themselves available on that date, the court might consider request of the petitioner for granting interim relief.

Peshawar High Court Bar Association president Abdul Lateef Afridi appeared for the petitioner and contended that Dr Habib Ahmad was appointed as Islamia College University vice-chancellor and his three-year term expired on July 28, 2019.

He added that the pro vice-chancellor Dr Naushad had taken over charge on acting charge basis under Section 12-A of KP Universities Act, 2012.

He stated that as the chief minister and Dr Habib belonged to same area, therefore, the former intended to give him extension for three years despite the fact that Key Performance Indicators (KPI), which were required for giving extension to sitting VC, had neither been determined nor notified.

Mr Afridi contends that under the law, the pro-VC had taken charge, but the governor, who was the chancellor of the university, on behest of the chief minister issued the impugned notification on July 31, directing that the outgoing VC should continue on the said post.

He said that higher education department had issued different advertisements for appointment of VCs of different universities, but the Islamia College University had deliberately not been included in those advertisements.

Mr Afridi requested the court to direct the secretary of higher education, chief minister and governor to strictly act in accordance with law and advertise the post of VC of the university.

He added that Dr Habib should not be allowed to continue as VC as the KPI had not been notified.

Senior advocate Qazi Mohammad Anwar informed the bench that he would represent Dr Habib in the case but as he had presently been abroad, therefore, he would submit the wakalatnama on next date.

Published in Dawn, August 23rd, 2019