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OPF Girls College: court restores suspended principal

June 15, 2012

ISLAMABAD, June 15: Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday suspended the suspension order of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) Girls College, Sector F-8/2 Principal Shaheena Masood issued by the OPF managing director (MD). While hearing a contempt of court plea, it issued show-cause notices to the MD, director and an admin officer of the OPF and directed them to appear in the court on next date of hearing to be fixed by the registrar office.

Earlier, Shaheena had also been transferred from the college as the OPF management was reportedly annoyed with her over offering resistance to a move to privatise the OPF academic institutions.

Justice Siddiqui on June 8 had, however, suspended her transfer orders. The OPF management after three days of the court orders suspended Ms Masood for her alleged financial and administrative wrongdoings.

Ms Masood then filed a petition seeking initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the MD. Her counsel advocate Qamar Afzal told the court, the OPF ministry had planned to privatise academic institutions in a ‘well-designed’ disguised move, an act which was ex-facie, illegal and unlawful.

It was challenged before the same bench wherein the court had also restrained the authorities from privatising the OPF educational institutions.

He said Ms Masood was resisting all attempts by the authorities to defy the ruling but her move annoyed them. In addition to the principal, teachers also resisted the move of privatisation as it was considered to be against the staff rights, the petition added.

It said as all efforts to intimidate and pressurise the principal went in vain, the OPF managing director issued an order last Friday evening removing Shaheena from her position and directed her to report to the head office. A lady took her place who neither had the requisite qualification nor the experience; hence did not fulfill the criterion laid down for the post, according to the petition.

Shaheena declared the act of the OPF managing director ‘malafide and victimisation without any lawful justification and authority’.

Her petition noted that the OPF managing director has reacted ‘illegally and unlawfully and started harassing the petitioner and threatening her of dire consequences. “The whole object is to implement the privatisation policy and do acts arbitrarily undermining the interests of the educationalist institution,” she maintained and requested the court to issue directions for her restoration as the principal.

It may be pertinent to mention that IHC had, on May 28, restrained the OPF authorities from privatising OPF Girls College situated in F-8 sector while hearing the petition of the parents of OPF students.

Though the court issued the stay order to the extent of OPF college in sector F-8/2 but, the counsel in this particular case believed, after the restraining orders, the ministry cannot privatise even a single of the 25 branches of OPF schools and colleges in other cities including Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Gujrat, Khuzdar, Hangu and Mirpur.