University of Malakand: VC held responsible for illegal appointments, irregularities

September 24, 2021

PESHAWAR: The Senate of the University of Malakand has held the vice-chancellor responsible for illegal appointments and irregularities in the university and censured his illegal actions while...

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PESHAWAR: The Senate of the University of Malakand has held the vice-chancellor responsible for illegal appointments and irregularities in the university and censured his illegal actions while approving the immediate dismissal of all illegal contractual and fixed pay employees.

The senate has expressed displeasure over the favouritism and nepotistic recruitment, conditionally allowing Vice-chancellor Professor Gul Zaman to complete his term by October 26. However, an oversight committee headed by the additional secretary has been constituted to monitor the affairs of the university.

While confirming the senate decisions, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Kamran Bangash said the KP governor had constituted a special committee to investigate irregularities at the Malakand University.

A special session of the senate was convened for the approval of the recommendations of the special committee. It was decided to terminate the service of at least 50 illegal appointments including the uncle of the vice-chancellor. The vice-chancellor's illegal actions were condemned, which damaged the institution's reputation. Some of the issues were referred to syndicate for further necessary disciplinary action.

“The important post of director Works has been filled through a fixed pay/contract employee who has no career progression accountability and no stakes in the university. His services were terminated immediately because he was dealing with a huge amount of a project,” Kamran Bangash said.

According to a report available with this scribe, the special committee has detected serious irregularities in the University of Malakand. The vice-chancellor has appointed around 50 employees illegally including his uncle to different positions. The special committee has recommended that all the positions like teaching assistants, research assistants and demonstrators created illegally in anticipation of the approval of the draft statutes may be abolished as there is neither any provision for the existence of such posts in the model statutes 2016 nor in the structure of teaching faculty issued by the HEC.

“Appropriate disciplinary action may be initiated against the incumbent vice-chancellor in light of the finding of the inquiry committee. The vice-chancellor being the chief executive and principal accounting office under Section 11(2) &(9) is responsible for any irregularity of authorities to the senate,” the report recommended.

The report revealed that there is no provision of walk-in-interview either in the regulation 2001 or the model statutes 2016. Moreover, contract appointments against regular/permanent key positions in BPS -18 and 19 cannot be justified. Therefore the agreement/appointment orders of the entire 50 contract and fixed pay employees made during the incumbency of the present vice-chancellor may be terminated and a fresh process of recruitments may be initiated.

The 50 appointees also include Muhammad Aurangzeb who is the uncle of the VC and has been appointed against a post that does not exist in the statutes but was a requirement of the HEC for the ORIC, which is based on nepotism. “In practice, the appointments once made continue for years and are a burden in the shape of litigation as they demand regularization/upgradation. It is observed with concern that Section 11(5)(d)&(e) is widely misused in public sector universities and needs to be amended appropriately to put an end to nepotism.

There must be certain checks and balances so that the VC use these sections judiciously under a well-defined criteria by following the due process of recruitment, the report said and added appropriate disciplinary action may be initiated against Dr Samiur Rehman, Dr Muhammad Usman, Shafiul Haq and Salman Zeb being leaders of the complainants who approached directly the chancellor’s office. Dr Usman may also be proceeded against for misconduct he committed during the instant proceedings in the presence of the inquiry committee and for attending a TV show where he talked without obtaining prior permission.

The University Public School of the university is a poorly managed institution that operates without proper legal cover. There is no legal procedure for the appointment of staff and hence proved to be areas where irregular appointments have been made every now and then. Even its incumbent principal has been appointed through walk-in interviews. Therefore proper recruitment rules may be framed for the school under the relevant provision of the KP Universities Act 2012.

The upward revision in the cost of construction of the vice-chancellor’s house and subsequent repeat order to the same contractor in violation of KPPRA rules and multiple allegations about other civil works necessitates a thorough probe through another committee where technical members from Planning and Development and C&W Department are included to reach a fair conclusion. “Appropriate disciplinary action may also be initiated against Dr Qaiser Khan in the light of findings of this committee and recommendations of two inquiries conducted in the harassment cases for charges/allegations other than sexual harassment,” the report concluded.

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