SHC summons acting HEC chairman over KU’s PhD programme in law

Maqbool AhmedStaff Reporter

24th Aug, 2021. 06:56 pm
Karachi University

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday ordered the acting chairman of the High Education Commission (HEC) to appear on September 16 to explain how Karachi University (KU) was allowed to launch and run a PhD programme in law without having the relevant faculty.

During today’s hearing, a deputy director of the commission had appeared before a two-judge bench but failed to satisfy the court regarding the PhD programme at KU.

The bench, headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh, was dismayed by the HEC’s role and directed its acting chairman to appear and explain the role of the body.

The orders were issued on a petition filed by Qamar Shahzad, Saeed Shahzad and other law PhD aspirants. They had filed the plea after their interview at the varsity.

The petitioners have told the court that during the interview the panelists were unprofessional and asked irrelevant questions. They told the court that they were surprised when they found out that the five members of the panel did not have a PhD in law and neither did they have any knowledge or service record in legal education.

The petitioners’ contend that the interviewing panel was illegal as none of them had a PhD. They added that the composition of the panel indicates that the interview was a formality and desired candidates were already shortlisted. The petitioners believe that they were only called so that the varsity could show that a selection process was held.

The petitioners’ counsel Naserullah Korai also told the court that the Karachi University had ignored several directions of the Supreme Court while issuing the admissions call. He added that the apex court has ruled that there should be at least three relevant full-time PhD faculty members in a department to launch a PhD programme.

The petitioners told the court that the dean of the faculty of law at the university currently holds a PhD in social work. In addition to that, she was also the dean of two other faculties, which was itself an illegal act on part of the respondents.

The high court was requested to declare the PhD in law programme of the KU as illegal and direct the varsity to reconstitute the interviewing panel for fresh admissions.

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