Petitioner brings into question search committee’s competence for evaluation
KARACHI: After the withdrawal of Prof Dr Noushad A Sheikh’s appointment as the new vice-chancellor (VC) of the Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS), the nomination of Prof Dr Saeed Qureshi for the same post was also challenged in court.
Last week, the Sindh High Court (SHC) had suspended the operation of the notification regarding the appointment of Dr Sheikh while hearing a petition jointly filed by the Pakistan Medical Association and Dr Qureshi.
The petitioners had argued that the 12-member search committee constituted for the appointment of the VC had recommended Dr Qureshi for the post. The committee forwarded a summary to the chief minister recommending the appointment of Dr Qureshi as the VC. The chief minister forwarded the summary based on the committee’s recommendation, but the governor changed the recommendations and appointed Dr Sheikh instead of Dr Qureshi.
Read: Panel upholds decision: Dow University’s acting VC loses perks, promotion
Suspending the notification of his appointment, the SHC bench had issued notices to the secretary to the governor, the DUHS registrar and others to file their comments, explaining the legality of the appointment.
During Tuesday’s proceedings, the law officer informed the two judges that the competent authority had withdrawn the appointment of Prof Noushad A Sheikh. In view of this statement, the bench disposed of the petition.
The judges, meanwhile, heard another petition, through which the nomination of Dr Qureshi for the post of VC by the 12-member search committee was challenged. The petitioner, Prof Rana Qamar Masood, had challenged the competence of the selection committee that comprised Azra Peechu, Iqbal Durrani and a former chief secretary, Fazlur Rehman.
Prof Masood, who is a professor of the department of medicine at DUHS, argued that the nomination of the respondent was illegal as the search committee comprised less competent members to evaluate the professionals for the post of the VC.
He claimed that the committee’s member, Peechu, is simply an MBBS, the former chief secretary is a family friend of the respondent, while Iqbal Durrani is an officer of grade 20 who cannot professionally evaluate an officer for appointment to a post of grade 21.
During the hearing, Advocate Shahzeb Akhtar Khan undertook to file power on behalf of Dr Qureshi. Professor Muhammad Masroor and Prof Jouvaid Ashraf also requested for time to instruct their lawyers to file their comments.
Conceding the requests, the SHC bench issued notices to the chancellor of the DUHS, the chief secretary and the other members of the search committee to file their comments by November 3.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.