PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Tuesday issued contempt notices to the higher education secretary and acting vice-chancellor of the Khyber Medical University over delay in the appointment of the university’s permanent VC.

Justice Mussarat Hilali and Justice Abdul Shakoor Khan asked the secretary of the higher education department and acting KMU VC to explain on the next date why proceedings under the contempt of court law should not be initiated against them.

The bench was hearing a contempt petition filed by Prof Ziaul Islam, who insisted that in Mar 2018, the court had accepted his petition by declaring the appointment of Prof Arshad Javaid as the KMU VC illegal and asked the government to reinitiate the appointment process but the order had yet to be implemented.

On Mar 8, a high court bench had declared illegal the last year appointment of Prof Arshad Javaid as the KMU VC by the KP government and directed the relevant academic search committee to recommend three most suitable candidates afresh for the post.

The court had partially allowed a petition filed by Prof Ziaul Islam, who had challenged the non-inclusion of his name among the shortlisted candidates for the post by the academic search committee.

While setting aside the July 13, 2017, notification of the appointment of Prof Arshad Javaid as the KMU VC, the bench ordered Dr Arshad to act as an acting VC until the appointment of permanent VC in line with Section 12 (1) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act, 2012.

It had ordered the academic search committee to consider all eligible candidates denovo on merit with proper application of mind and recommend three most suitable candidates in accordance with formula of evaluation devised by the ASC.

The court had ordered the convener of the ASC to ensure presence of all members of committee in the meeting.

Mian Muhibullah Kakakhel, lawyer for the petitioner, said acting VC Dr Arshad had been using his influence to delay the appointment of the VC.

He said an advertisement was published in newspapers for filling the post of KMU VC in Nov 2016 prompting his client to apply for being ‘fully qualified’ for it.

The lawyer said despite being more qualified than other candidates, his client was not shortlisted and therefore, he had filed the petition.

He said over seven months had passed but the respondents, including the higher education secretary had not been implementing the court’s order.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018