In an order issued on Thursday, the Sindh High Court (SHC) overturned all administrative and financial decisions made by the Acting Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Karachi (KU) since January 26.
The High Court had previously ordered that the appointment of Dr Khalid Iraqi as the university’s acting VC was unlawful. The CHS had requested a list of the university’s 10 most senior faculty members so that an interim VC could be chosen from among them.
As no action was taken to comply with this order, the High Court ordered that the decisions made by Dr Iraqi on Thursday 24 February be set aside.
Between January 26 and February 24, Dr. Iraqi not only chaired important meetings, but also made some administrative decisions.
According to available information, the recently dismissed acting VC chaired a meeting of the board of directors of the Regional Study Center for Europe on February 21.
“At the said meeting, he took important decisions such as confirming the appointment of an accountant and a librarian, approving the financial budget for last year and the current year. However, these decisions are not yet implemented,” said a teacher at the center. He added that after the CHS order, Dr. Iraqi was not empowered to chair a meeting or make a decision.
On February 15, the former acting VC chaired an international seminar organized by the university’s mass communication department.
Another decision made by Dr. Iraqi to be reversed due to the CHS order is the appointment of Atteeq Razzak from the Mathematics Department on behalf of the union as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Applied Economics Research .
Thursday’s order follows a contempt of court claim filed by Professor Dr Ahmed Qadri and others against failure to comply with court orders for the dismissal of KU’s acting VC.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer said the alleged shamers failed to comply with court orders in which they were asked to forward the names of KU’s 10 oldest professors in grade 22 to the Chief Minister for he appoints one of them as interim VC until a permanent VC is appointed.
The lawyer said that the court’s instructions were clear, but the competent authority failed and neglected to appoint one of the most senior professors as the acting VC, while the incumbent acting VC continued to perform his duties in violation of court orders.
He said the acting VC made administrative and financial decisions, reversing court instructions. He also said that the competent authority had not yet reconstituted the search committee, which amounted to contempt of court.
A KU lawyer filed a compliance report and a list of the 10 most senior professors, saying there were no 22nd-year professors at the university. He said there was nothing else for KU to respect. The applicants’ lawyer disputed the report, calling it eyewash.
A divisional CHS bench consisting of Judge Aftab Ahmed Gorar and Judge Adnanul Karim Memon observed that the court was inclined to leave in abeyance all administrative and financial decisions made by the acting VC from January 26.