High Court seeks update on education panel appointment

January 04, 2014 - 4:38:42 am

ISLAMABAD : The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday directed the federal government to apprise the court about specific date and updated status on the process for appointment of a permanent Chairman of Higher Education Commission (HEC) by the coming Monday.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddique conducted the hearing of a petition seeking appointment of a permanent Chairperson of HEC. During the hearing, Justice Siddiqui remarked that the office of chairman HEC is a statutory position and non-appointment of permanent chairman HEC is a very serious issue and matter of great concern which has been reported in print and electronic media.

He directed the standing counsel to bring the matter in to the notice of HEC controlling authority, Prime Minister of Pakistan.  Standing counsel Jehangir Jadoon informed the court that as per information provided by federal ministry of education & training, the summary for appointment of regular chairman HEC had been moved by the ministry to Prime Minister Secretariat.  Umar Hanif Khichi advocate appearing on behalf of Prof Dr Atta ur Rahman stated that as per HEC Act, the federal government has to appoint regular chairman with in 90 days.

However, he added that the office of permanent chairman HEC is still lying vacant even after lapse of four months, which is negatively affecting the affairs of sole higher education regulatory authority of the country. 

Former chairman HEC Dr Atta-ur-Rahman had filed the writ petition in IHC for the appointment of permanent and regular chairperson of HEC as per HEC Act without any further delay through a transparent and merit based mechanism.

Dr Atta cited principal secretary to prime minister and secretary education and standards in higher education as respondents.

In his petition, the President PAS stated that since former chairperson’s first four-year term ended on August 26th, 2013, therefore, since to the present, the office of the Chairperson HEC has been vacant, which is a statutory office and most significant in role. 

After issuing the afore-mentioned directions, the single bench of IHC deferred the hearing till January 6.

Security to former CJP: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday served notices on the Interior Ministry, Secretary Cabinet Division and Inspector General (IG) Islamabad Police in a petition moved for the provision of security to former chief justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui also directed them to submit their reply on the next hearing.

During the hearing of the petition, an additional secretary of Interior Ministry appeared before the court and said that the ministry has provided a bulletproof car and 16 persons for security.