Through an interim order, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday suspended the suspension order of the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) Girls College (Sector F-8/2) Principal Shaheena Masood issued by the OPF managing director.
The petitioner, Shaheena Masood, in a contempt of court petition before the IHC, alleged that the OPF administration removed her for resisting the privatisation of OPF academic institutions.
The IHC bench, while hearing the contempt of court application of Shaheena Masood, issued show-cause notices to the OPF managing director, director and an administration officer and directed them to appear before the court on the next date of hearing.
According to the petitioner, the OPF administration was unhappy with her as she resisted the move to privatise OPF educational institutions and for this reason the administration had transferred her. She challenged her transfer orders before the IHC. An IHC bench on June 8 suspended her transfer orders. The OPF management, three days after these orders, suspended Shaheena Masood again from the post of principal on the allegations of financial and administrative irregularities.
The appellant told the court that she was replaced with a lady who has neither requisite qualification nor experience. Hence she did not fulfil the criteria laid for the post.
The counsel of Shaheena Masood, Advocate Qamar Afzal, told the court that the OPF Ministry planned to privatise academic institutions in a disguised move that is illegal and unlawful.
The counsel further argued that the privatisation of OPF educational institutions was also challenged before the same IHC bench that restrained the ministry to privatise these educational institutions through an interim order.
Advocate Qamar Afzal told the court that her client was defying the moves to privatise OPF educational institutions that annoyed the authorities. It was not only the principal but teachers also resisted the move of privatisation, the counsel said.
The petitioner stated in her petition that the OPF managing director has reacted “illegally and unlawfully and started harassing the petitioner and threatening her with dire consequences. The whole object is to implement the privatisation policy and do acts arbitrarily undermining interests of the educational institution.”
The IHC bench, on May 28, had restrained the OPF authorities from privatising the OPF Girls College in Sector F-8/2, while hearing the petition of parents of its students.
Shaheena Masood had prayed to the court to restore her to the position of the principal, which the court granted, while issuing the aforesaid orders and put off hearing with date in office.
Saeed Ahmed adds: According to sources in the OPF College for Girls, after getting restoration orders, Shaheena Masood resumed her duties accordingly without any hurdle. This was also confirmed by Director-Head of Division (Education) Iftikhar Ahmed
while talking to this correspondent. “As the IHC has restored her services, Shaheena Masood would continue to work as principal of the OPF Girls College, Sector F-8/2, Islamabad, in the same scale till the next orders of the court,” he said.
Iftikhar Ahmed stated that the management would record its statement in the next hearing.