SHC dismisses plea against appointments at Fuuast

December 07, 2023

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday dismissed a petition against the appointments of lecturers and other professors made at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology (Fuuast) by the Fuuast selection board.

The court, however, told the petitioners that they are at liberty to approach the Fuuast chancellor to seek implementation of the recommendations of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The court said the university chancellor may proceed to decide the fate of such recommendations, if there are no legal impediments in this regard, in accordance with the law, rules and regulations, as may be applicable to the fact of the instant case.

The Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — SHC website

Mohammad Hanif Ansari and other petitioners had submitted that they were applicants for the vacant teaching posts advertised by Fuuast in the years 2013 and 2017 for appointments on the posts of lecturers, assistant professors and associate professors.

They said that through a letter, the HEC had issued a directive to the university to stipulate that the minimum qualification for assistant professors should be PhD, but the selection board appointed multiple candidates who did not possess a PhD as assistant professors.

They requested the court to declare the appointments made by the Fuuast selection board 2021 against the posts advertised in the years 2013 and 2017 tainted with mala fide intentions, favouritism and nepotism, and to order fresh appointments in accordance with the HEC’s directions and the relevant qualification criteria.

After hearing the counsel’s arguments, an SHC division bench headed by acting chief justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi said that the matter is still within the domain of the Fuuast chancellor, who can take cognisance of the HEC’s recommendations as regards appointments during the year 2021-22 on the posts of grades 18 to 21.

The bench said that litigation in the shape of multiple petitions relating to the appointment of even the vice chancellor of the university is already pending in court.

The judges said they are not inclined to interfere with the authority of the chancellor of Fuuast at this stage and to multiply the already pending petitions in court in respect of the university’s affairs.

The court said that no order has been passed by the competent authority that otherwise can give rise to any cause of action or grievance to be redressed under Article 199 of the constitution.

The SHC dismissed the petition as being misconceived, but said that the petitioners are at liberty to approach the competent forum, the chancellor of Fuuast, to seek implementation of the recommendations of the HEC.

The bench said the chancellor of the university may proceed to decide the fate of such recommendations, if there are no legal impediments in this regard, in accordance with the law, rules and regulations, as may be applicable to the fact of the instant case.