The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday issued notices to the federal government in response to a plea challenging the appointment of four Higher Education Commission (HEC) members including Dr Attaur Rahman.
Appearing before a single-member bench of Justice Aamer Farooq in the matter, Advocate High Court Umer Gilani contended that four members of the HEC including Dr Attaur Rehman, Dr Akram Shaikh, Nadira Panjwani and Dr Arif Nazeer Butt were holding the office in result of a mala fide exercise of authority and without due process of law.
An eminent academic and activist Dr AH Nayyar and three others have filed the petition, who earlier invoked the jurisdiction of the IHC and secured restoration of the deposed chairman of the HEC Dr Tariq Banuri.
The petitioners alleged that federation was exercising its power illegally since restoration of Dr Tariq Banuri saying on February 07, 2022, an illegal resolution was passed through mere email circulation as a result of which the office of the restored Chairperson was made practically dysfunctional.
Advocate Gilani argued that under provisions of the HEC Ordinance it is mandatory to deliberate upon any meeting/ resolution saying the mandatory provisions of the HEC Ordinance have been violated and resulted to file the petition in hand.
The petitioners claimed that illegal actions were being taken in order to defeat the efforts made by Dr Tariq Banuri to carry out a performance audit of HEJ, the publicly funded institution headed by Dr Attaur Rehman. The petitioner has also challenged the appointment of Dr. Attaur Rehman, Dr. Akram Shaikh, NADRA Panjwani and Dr. Arif Butta.
They have alleged that these appointments were made without any competitive or transparent manner and with the object of packing the Commission with loyalists.
After hearing preliminary arguments in the matter, Justice Aamir Farooq issued notices to the federal government, HEC and other respondents with directives to file comments before the next date of hearing. Later, hearing of the matter was adjourned till March 28.
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