SHC sets aside single bench order regarding appointment of JSMU VC

JSMU Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Lubna Ansari Baig was the first recommendation

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court’s appellate bench set aside the SHC’s single bench order with regard to the continuation of notification about appointment of the Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) vice-chancellor and ordered that the notification shall remain suspended till the hearing of the pending applications.

The order came on a high court appeal filed by Prof Dr Lubna Ansari seeking an injunction against the issuance of a notification for the appointment of Prof Dr. Amjad Siraj Memon as the JSMU VC despite interim restraining orders of the high court.

According to a notification issued by the Sindh Government’s Universities and Boards Department, Prof. Dr Amjad Siraj Memon, who took over as Vice-Chancellor on June 23, was second in the list of recommendations sent the Search Committee sent to Chief Minister.

JSMU Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Lubna Ansari Baig was the first recommendation but she was overlooked and the second number candidate was appointed as Vice-Chancellor by the Sindh government

Consequently, Dr Lubna Baig approached the court over the irregularities in the appointment. She stated that the search committee had given her 70 marks as a candidate for JSMU Vice-Chancellor and was placed first on the list of recommendations.

Dr Amjad Siraj Memon, Principal Dow Medical College, was shortlisted for second place with 67 marks, while Dr Khawaja Mustafa Qadri was shortlisted for third place with 48 marks.

The petition filed was approved by the court for hearing. The plaintiff’s counsel said that a single bench of the SHC, despite the earlier interim order of the court, allowed the continuation of the spirit of the impugned notification which severely affected the right of the plaintiff in the case.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui, after hearing the arguments of the counsel, observed that the SHC single bench had not only given observation regarding the notification but also continued the interim order which restricted the committee from finalising the candidates.

The high court observed that no doubt, the university deserved a regular and permanent VC but the process, mechanism and legal proceedings should not be allowed to be flouted and it was prima facie contemptuous on the part of the respondents to have continued the process of the finalisation of the VC without disposal of the relevant applications, on which at least one earlier injunctive order was operating.

The appellate bench allowed the appeal and set aside the impugned observation of the single bench and ordered that the notification shall remain suspended till the hearing of the pending applications.