SC asks three medical varsities VCs to resign, forms search bodies for fresh appointments

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LAHORE: The Supreme Court Sunday asked vice chancellors of Fatima Jinnah Medical University (FJMU), Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) and Faisalabad Medical University (FMU) to resign from their offices.

The SC bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan while hearing a suo moto notice over appointment of public sector universities’ vice chancellors, also formed three search committees for the selection of new vice chancellors of universities, directing them to complete the process as soon as possible.

The bench also tasked the search committees to appoint acting vice chancellors from among the senior most professors of the universities.

As the proceedings started, FJMU VC Prof Dr Khalid Masood Gondal, RMU VC Prof Dr Muhammad Umar and FMU VC Prof Dr Farid Zafar, along with the Secretary Health, appeared before the court in response to the court notices. The court had issued notices to the VCs to explain why not search committees for selection of vice chancellors be formed afresh, after expressing reservations on the earlier appointments.

To a query, the Secretary Health apprised the bench about members of the search committees, who had recommended the panels for appointment of VCs to the universities.
At this, the bench formed new search committees and directed them to complete the process as soon as possible, while asking the VCs to resign from their posts. The bench directed the search committee members to recommend the panel on merit.
Meanwhile, the bench also formed a new search committee for selection of a permanent vice chancellor of the King Edward Medical University, Lahore.

Secretary Higher Education said that the commission needs till August to do this task upon which the court gave a month and a half for the same citing the elections as the reason for not giving more than a month and a half. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Sunday expressed displeasure over the appointment of a dual nationality holder as Commissioner Overseas Pakistanis Commission (OPC) Punjab and Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) board member.

A two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in PIC.

In response to court summons, health minister Khwaja Salman Rafique and top health officials as well as the PIC head appeared in court.

The bench observed that it would delve into the matter to look for irregularities in the affairs of PIC and added the matter is being referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for a probe.

The court directed the officials present in the courtroom to be in attendance on next hearing on April 28.

Addressing the minister, the chief justice said this all is happening despite his holding the ministerial portfolio of the health department and added this will make up for a charge-sheet against him.

He asked how Afzaal Bhatti who holds dual nationality has been appointed as OPC commissioner and asked him to inform how much salary he has been receiving. Upon this he replied he is being paid Rs55,0000 a month. While the Punjab chief secretary received Rs18,0000 a month, had the commissioner had special qualities that he is being paid a hefty salary, wondered Justice Nisar. – NNI

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