The Lahore High Court on Thursday stopped Higher Education Department from issuing appointment notification of new vice-chancellor of Punjab University until final decision on the petition challenging the appointment.
The court also issued notice to the respondents HED and Punjab Higher Education Commission till December 15 for their replies on the petition.
Justice Shahid Karim issued this order on a petition filed by Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir, Sami Uzair Khan and Wasif M Khan, candidates for the slot of the VC.
Petitioners through their counsel Saad Rasool submitted that an advertisement on November 04 was given in newspapers for appointment of PU VC. He said on April 07, through a notification, the HED prescribed the criteria for appointment of the VC in 11 universities. He said earlier on March 03, through a notification a search committee was formed for recommendations on the appointment of the VCs.
He said the HED was not competent enough to issue this advertisement and constituting committee and prescribing criteria for the VCs was illegal as it was in the domain of the PHEC.
He admitted that according to the HED and PHEC rules, the HED had no authority to make the appointment and instead it was the authority of the PHEC to make the appointments of the VCs.
He prayed the court to declare the advertisement for the VC criteria and search committee formed by the HED illegal and unconstitutional.
He also prayed the court to direct the respondents to carry out the process for search, selection and appointment of the VC of PU afresh, in accordance with the mandate of Constitution, the Higher Education Department Act, and Punjab Higher Education Commission Act.
During the course of hearing, the court was informed that the process for the appointment was initiated which would take many days in completion. However, the court stopped the HED from issuing the final notification of appointment of the VC until final decision on the petition.
It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Mujahid Kamran was appointed PU VC for a term of four years, in January 2008 and then for another term of four years in January of 2012.
The second term of Dr Kamran will expire on 22nd January, 2016, as a result of which, a fresh appointment to the post of VC is required to be made.