LAHORE: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, who is also chancellor of all public sector varsities in the province, has directed the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) vice chancellor to remove its registrar and controller of examination as an inquiry committee found their appointment illegal.
As per a directive issued by the governor/chancellor, he was informed by the Higher Education Department (HED) that during the audit of the UET for the period of 2013-2014, an objection was raised on“unlawful/ irregular” appointments of the varsity registrar, deputy registrars and controller of examination.
The government audit team recommended, “The appointments are unlawful, therefore, liable to be canceled. Moreover, the salary and perquisites received against the said posts shall also be recovered and deposited into the university’s main [bank] account.”
The directive (a copy available with Dawn) requires the UET VC to de-notify the illegal appointments of Muhammad Asif (registrar) and Muhammad Zargham Nusrat (controller of examination).
It further states that the university had breached the rules and regulations in appointments of the registrar, controller of examinations and three deputy registrars (who were appointed beyond the sanctioned strength).
Earlier, on the direction of Lahore High Court, a committee was constituted to conduct the audit. However, Mr Muhammad Asif challenged its composition, stating that the convener of the said committee was biased against him. Upon this, the then HED secretary reconstituted the body,“in better interest of justice”.
The reconstituted committee, during the audit, found that the work experience Mr Asif and Mr Nusrat claimed to have, to qualify for the registrar slot, was earned by them by working in unregistered and bogus institutions and thus they could not be given weightage.
It also found that the experience documents produced before various selection boards by the officials had great discrepancies and variations, which, the committee said, affirmed the “dubiousness” of their certificates.
The HED directed the VC to de-notify the irregular appointments within 15 days of issuance of the directions.
Muhammad Asif filed a writ petition in the LHC which ordered to place the matter before the Syndicate that declared the appointments as legal.
Later, the HED formed another committee on the matter.
The committee also directed the VC and resident auditor to work out all cases of appointments made on the basis of private sector experience within one month and to place them before the Syndicate for their treatment as per law .“The VC will have to ensure that the cases are reviewed by the syndicate keeping in view the overall context of rules and procedures,” it said.
It further directed the VC to initiate disciplinary action against those found responsible for violation of the UET statutes.
The committee directed the VC to curtail the number of deputy registrars appointed over and above the sanctioned posts through 2009 Selection Board. “Appointment, selection or promotion can only be made against a certain vacant post for which salary is to be paid,” it said.
The VC was directed to place the matter before the Syndicate for a decision as per applicable laws, rules and policies.
UET VC Dr Mansoor Sarwar told Dawn that the matter would be presented before the Syndicate and it would have to decide the issue of legality of the appointments.
He said the appointments were made after holding selection board meetings and the Syndicate had already approved these postings.
Another senior UET officer, on condition of anonymity, said the university Syndicate had twice examined these postings and declared these legal.
He said the secretaries of HED, finance, commerce and their representatives were also members of the Syndicate and this issue was discussed by them at length. “The Syndicate had approved these appointments and refuted the allegations leveled by the complainants,” he said.
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2021