Dow University of Health Sciences VC appointment case

KARACHI:25 April:The Sindh High Court (SHC) reserved on Monday its verdict on the contempt of court plea against the Sindh governor and his principal secretary in a case relating to the appointment of the vice-chancellor of Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS).
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro, reserved its verdict after hearing arguments from the lawyers representing the varsity’s former vice-chancellor, Professor Masood Hamid, DUHS and the provincial and federal governments.

Professor Hamid had moved an application seeking contempt of the court order proceedings against the provincial governor and the principal secretary to the governor for allegedly violating the court’s April 2016 order.

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He argued that the court had ordered the formation of a search committee last year for the appointment of the medical university’s vice-chancellor on a regular basis. Till such an appointment was made, the court had ordered that Professor Hamid will continue to act as the vice-chancellor, the judges were told.

However, Hamid alleged that instead of making an appointment on a regular basis, the governor had appointed Professor Khawar Jamali pro-VC of the university, disregarding the court’s directives. Therefore, he pleaded that contempt of court proceedings be initiated against the governor and principal secretary to the governor.

The lawyer contended that the summary for the appointment of the regular VC was running between the Governor House and the CM House.

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Objecting to the maintainability of the contempt of court plea, the additional attorney-general, Salman Talibuddin, argued proceedings could not be initiated against the governor since he enjoyed impunity under the Constitution.

The petitioner’s lawyer argued that the Supreme Court had convicted the then sitting prime minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, despite having impunity. He argued the governor could also be proceeded against for the contempt of court orders.

Talibuddin said the governor was out of the province and will issue a notification regarding the appointment of the DUHS VC, in compliance of the court’s directives, upon the governor’s return from Islamabad on Friday.

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The lawyer representing the university argued an individual could not be appointed as VC for more than one term under the university’s law. Opposing the petition, the lawyer argued that Professor Hamid was appointed as VC three times, which was an illegal act.

Since Hamid has retired it is the responsibility of the governor to appoint any suitable candidate on the VC’s post, he added.

After hearing arguments from the lawyers representing the parties, the bench reserved its verdict.Express Turbuni.