Lahore:March 07: A THREE-member bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Dr Malik Hussain Mubashar to continue as vice-chancellor of the University of Health Sciences till March 12.
The bench, headed by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani, issued the order while hearing the Punjab government’s appeal against Lahore High Court order which declared Dr Mubashar’s reappointment as UHS VC as illegal.
During the course of hearing, the court expressed concerns over the government’s inability to appoint VC of the King Edward Medical College University and pro-VC of UHS. The court was informed that Punjab Advocate General Ashtar Ausaf was not available till March 9 due to his illness. At this, the court adjourned the hearing and observed that no further adjournment would be granted on the next hearing.
Justice Jilani observed that the court could not leave the university unattended and would decide the matter on the next date of hearing according to the law regardless of the absence of anybody. He said key posts were lying vacant in universities and the AG should ensure that these posts would be filled. He said that since two years, the KEMU was functioning without a VC. Justice Saqib Nisar, the other member of the bench, asked whether this adhocism severe of its nature. An additional advocate general Punjab informed the court that on March 4, the Punjab government advertised the post of KEMU VC and soon the process would be completed.
At this, Nasir Qureshi, counsel for the petitioner who had challenged the appointment, argued that the Punjab government had already advertised the post thrice but the vacancy could not be filled for reasons best known to it.
The SC disposed of two petitions of the Pakistan Medical Association for becoming necessary party in the case. Doctor Mahmood Shaukat appeared before the court on behalf of the PMA and tried to convince the court to allow them to become a party.
Justice Jawad S Khawaja, the third member of the bench, said that although the matter, the PMA was indicating to, was of grave importance but the court wanted to keep the matter in hand limited to the appointment of the UHS VC. He said the PMA should file independent petition if it wanted to raise some other issues.
Nasir Qureshi told the media men that Dr Mubashar himself had not challenged his termination. He said the Punjab government had decided to defend him as 12 VCs of other universities of the province would be affected by the decision of the LHC.
In the petition, the Punjab government argued that the chancellor, on recommendation of the CM and search committee, had appointed Dr Mubashar for four years. He said the UHS Ordinance did not stop the reappointment of VC after expiry of his four years term. Muhammad Sajjad Hussain, a citizen, had challenged Mubashar’s appointment before the LHC, arguing that he was appointed as VC on April 7, 2003 in terms of Section 12 of the UHS Ordinance, 2002. On July 31, 2005 he attained age of superannuation and stood retired from his service as professor but he was allowed to continue as VC in violation of Section 47 of UHS Ordinance, he said, adding that Mubashar’s term for four years ended on April 11, 2007, even then, he was allowed to remain in office of the VC illegally in violation of section 12 and section 47 of UHS Ordinance. Later, he tendered his resignation on April 09, 2011 and on the same day, he was re-appointed as VC for another term of four years, Sajjad submitted.The news.