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Comments sought on KU plea against FIA probe

January 22, 2013

KARACHI, Jan 21: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the interior secretary, the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency and others to file their comments in a petition of the University of Karachi against an FIA probe into alleged illegal appointments and other irregularities by the varsity administration.

The university filed the petition through its deputy registrar who cited the interior secretary, the FIA chief, its regional director, deputy director Altaf Hussain, FIA inspector Abdul Rauf and former chief security officer of the university Muhammad Zahid as respondents.

A division bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar put the respondents and the federal law officer on notice and adjourned the hearing to Feb 14.

The petitioner, represented by Advocate Syed Mahmood Alam, submitted that the respondent chief security officer was appointed and selected by the vice chancellor after the required process.

He said that the respondent security officer, who had applied for the post following an advertisement published on March 3, 2012 in various newspapers, introduced himself as an army major, while later a certificate issued by the General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, revealed that he was a retired captain.

The deputy registrar submitted that the services of Muhammad Zahid was terminated and a new officer was appointed after the former chief security officer remained absent from duty without any intimation.

He stated that the respondent security officer did not appear before the university registrar despite notices.

However, the petitioner said, the ex-security officer challenged his termination from services in court but his petition was dismissed.

Later, he said, the ex-official moved a complaint against university officials in order to blackmail the university management.

The deputy registrar submitted that the FIA sent a letter on Jan 16, 2012 to the registrar stating that an inquiry (04/2012) had been registered against the management of the University of Karachi regarding illegal appointments and various other allegations.

He said that the FIA also asked the university administration to provide investigators a complete record of all appointments made by the university in Grades 1 to 20 since Jan 2008 till to date.

The deputy registrar stated that he also received separate letters from the FIA asking for the appearance of the university estate officer in the FIA office in Karachi.

He stated that he informed the FIA that the university did not come under its jurisdiction, still the respondent deputy director wrote to the registrar for inquiring into the university affairs.

The petitioner stated that the FIA authorities were harassing the university management by sending notices to its registrar repeatedly.

He stated that the Auditor General, Sindh, conducted the audit of the university and the chancellor was empowered to decide the promotions and dismissal of services of employees or other university affairs.

The petitioner prayed to the court to order cancellation of the inquiry against the university officials by the FIA and restrain the agency officials from harassing university employees.