LAHORE: Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar of Punjab, who is also chancellor of all public sector varieties in the province, requested the vice chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) to withdraw its registrar and examination controller as an investigative committee.
“In compliance with the Directive provided by the Governor/Chancellor, the Department of Higher Education (HED) was told that an objection was raised during the audit of the UET for the term 2013-2014 on “illegal/irregular” promotions of varsity registrars, deputy registrars and examination controllers.
“The appointments are unlawful, and are therefore liable to be cancelled,” the government audit team suggested. In addition, the wages and perquisites earned for those positions shall also be recovered and deposited in the primary [bank] account of the institution.
The Order (a copy available from Dawn) allows the UET VC to de-notify Muhammad Asif (registrar) and Muhammad Zargham Nusrat Nusrat of their unlawful appointments (controller of examination).
It also notes that in the appointments of the registrar, exam controller and three deputy registrars, the university ignored the rules and regulations (who were appointed beyond the sanctioned strength).
Earlier, a committee was formed to perform the audit under the direction of the Lahore High Court. Mr Muhammad Asif, however, contested its makeup, arguing that the committee’s convener was biassed against him. “The then HED secretary reconstituted the body after this, “in the best interests of justice.
During the audit, the reconstituted committee discovered that the work experience Mr Asif and Mr Nusrat appeared to have gained them by operating in unregistered and fake establishments to apply for the registrar slot, and hence they could not be granted weighting.
It also found that there were significant gaps and inconsistencies in the expertise records submitted by the officials before separate selection boards, which, the committee said, reinforced the “dubiousness” of their certificates.
Within 15 days of giving the orders, the HED instructed the VC to de-notify the irregular appointments.
In the LHC, Muhammad Asif filed a written petition asking the case to be brought before the Syndicate, which ruled the appointments legitimate.
Later, another committee on the subject was created by the HED.
The committee also ordered the VC and resident auditor to sort out all cases of appointments made within one month on the basis of private sector expertise and to position them before the Syndicate for their treatment as required by statute. “The VC will have to ensure that the cases are reviewed by the syndicate, taking into account the overall context of rules and procedures,” it said.
It further instructed the VC to begin criminal proceedings against those considered liable for violations of the laws of the UET.
The committee instructed the VC to reduce the number of deputy registrars selected by the 2009 Selection Board over and above the sanctioned positions. “Appointment, selection or promotion can only be made for a certain vacant position for which pay is to be paid,” it said.
The VC was instructed to put the matter before the Syndicate for a decision in compliance with the regulations, rules and policies applicable.
Dr Mansoor Sarwar, UET VC, told Dawn that the matter would be taken before the Syndicate and that the question of the validity of the appointments would have to be determined.
After conducting selection board meetings, he said the nominations were made and the Syndicate had already accepted these postings.
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On condition of anonymity, another senior UET officer said that the University Syndicate had reviewed these postings twice and ruled them legal.
He said the HED ministers, banking, trade and their delegates were part of the Syndicate as well, and they debated this topic at length. “These appointments were approved by the Syndicate and the allegations raised by the complainants were refuted,” he added.