Assembly passed Sindh Universities and Institutes Laws

Sindh:March 30:The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed the advocate general of the province, the speaker of the National Assembly and other authorities on Thursday to file comments on a petition challenging the controversial bill recently passed by the provincial assembly to empower the chief minister to control the public sector universities in place of the governor.

Pasban, a non-governmental organisation, submitted through its president, Altaf Shakoor, a petition that said the assembly passed the Sindh Universities and Institutes Laws (amendment) Bill 2018, and as result all powers had been vested with the chief minister after by taking them from the governor, who was a representative and symbol of the federation.

It said 24 public sector universities had been affected all over the province through political and bureaucratic interference, which would further darken the future of students. Shakoor claimed that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party had passed the impugned amendments with an incomplete quorum and without fulfilling other legal and constitutional formalities. He further stated that the bill had changed the functions undertaken by the academic councils such as formulating admission policies.

He said that under the bill, the vice chancellors could not take administrative decisions to run the day-to-day affairs of the universities, and even the appointments made by them would be subject to approval by the chief minister and a bureaucratic body. The petitioner submitted that all university teachers and other staff were against the bill and had rejected it.

He added that intention, aims and objects of the legislature should always be bonafide and in the welfare and interest of the general public and not to sledge hammer the general public by imposing unwanted and illegal bill. He submitted that controversial bill snatched the autonomy enjoyed by the institution of the higher education and inducted the majority of provincial bureaucrats in the body for fulfilling their whims and desires. The court was requested to restrain the provincial government from enacting and proceedings further on the impugned bills.

The additional advocate general questioned the maintainability of the petition, as the proposed bill had not been approved to become law. However, the petitioner’s counsel said the draft of the amendments had been approved by the assembly and sent to the governor for approval. A division bench headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi directed the federal and provincial law officers to file comments by April 19.The news.