The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the president of Islamic International University Islamabad (IIUI) and chairman board of governors on filling a number of academic slots in sheer violation of the university’s statute.
Advocate Umer Ijaz Gillani appeared before a single-member bench of Justice Miangul Hassan in the matter on behalf of the petitioner Fazal Maula.
Gillani contended even though the Statutes of the IIUI clearly provide that the Dean of each Faculty and the Chairperson of Teaching Department, Director or Director Generals of Institute or an Academy shall be appointed for a fixed tenure of three years.
He alleged that the appointments of several persons to the said posts have been made without fixing the tenure in accordance with the Statutes. Advocate Gillani apprised the court that 8 out of the 9 presently serving Deans of Faculty, 3 out of 4 Director Generals of Academies/Institutes and Chairpersons of more than a dozen Departments have been appointed through Notification which make them liable to serve “till further orders”.
He contended that this whole-sale denial of tenure to the Dean, Directors Generals and Departmental Chairperson is patently illegal. It is being perpetuated by the Respondents in order to quell academic freedom, the core statutory objective behind the IIUI Ordinance and statutes.
Substantiating his arguments, Advocate Umer Ijaz Gillani cited various top court verdicts and drew attention of the court to the appointment orders, which do not provide for the appointment to be tenure based.
He urged the court to declare all the impugned Notifications illegal and issued directives to the respondents to issue rectified Notifications for the posts of Deans, Director Generals and Departmental Chairpersons strictly in accordance with the law.
After a brief hearing of the matter, the judge issued notices to respondents saying the petition is in the nature of public interest litigation (PIL) as the petitioner does not seek any benefit for himself. Later, hearing was adjourned sine die.
The writer heads a leading news wire service ‘The Law Today Pakistan’ commonly known as TLTP. He has a special focus on news relating to superior courts adjudication, access to right of information, civil, political, social and economic rights under the approach that existing cyber regime realization ensures procedural fairness in administrative law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org