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ISLAMABAD, Dec 25: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has asked the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) to settle as early as possible a row with the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology, Islamabad, over recognition of the university and enrolment of its law students.

The high court took up the appeal of the Urdu University against the decision of the PBC, which had declined to recognise the university and had de-affiliated Al-Mizan Law College for being beyond its territorial jurisdiction.

The university has requested the high court to direct the council to review its decision of not giving recognition to the university as an institution imparting legal education.

Moved by Advocate Hashmat Habib on behalf of the university, the petitioner had also sought a restraining order from the high court against the PBC from interfering and creating hindrance to the statutory functions of the university.

Established in 2002 through an ordinance, the university was created as a public-sector university to promote learning in different fields of education with the authority to affiliate, de-affiliate educational institutions and inspect colleges and other institutions, the petition said.

On recommendation of its affiliation committee, the university granted affiliation to Al-Mizan Law College Karachi for a period of three-years on March 31 this year after thorough inspection and scrutiny of the quality of education maintained by the institution.

In addition to the law college, the university also granted affiliation to the Sindh National Textile College and Management Sciences Karachi, Ora Soft Training Institute Karachi, Abacus Institute of Management and Computer Sciences Karachi and Institute of Textile Technology and Management Karachi.

The university and the degree it awarded is also recognised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the petition said, adding that it had informed the PBC through a letter No 475/2005 under Rule 15(a) of the Pakistan Bar Council Legal Education Rules 1978 to recognise the university and through subsequent communications also provided a charter of the university, details of faculty and a copy of the syllabus of LLB classes.

However, on July 29 the council intimated the university that its Legal Education Committee had taken strong exception on the affiliation of the Al-Mizan Law College by the university as the council had not recognised the college, besides the college was also beyond university’s territorial jurisdiction.

The university then approached the Supreme Court, which appointed a five-member committee, headed by PBC’s vice-chairman to examine the LLB course prescribed by the university and to suggest suitable proposals within six months to the Pakistan Law Commission for consideration. The report of the committee is still awaited.

In the high court, the petitioner university pleaded that its students who have successfully completed degree courses according to the syllabus approved by the HEC were not being enrolled by the Punjab Bar Council as well as the Sindh Bar Council on the direction of the PBC and both were even refusing entry test to the university students.

The university pleaded that the PBC has made it handicapped as it was unable to perform its statutory functions in accordance with the law.

The high court adjourned the hearing till January 6.