Tuesday April 23, 2024

SC suspends BZU VC, registrar

By Sohail Khan
February 03, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday suspended the vice-chancellor and registrar of Bahauddin Zakaria University (BZU) for exceeding the limit and enrolling more students in law colleges affiliated with it.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ijazul Ahsen and comprising Justice Muneeb Akhtar and Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi, heard the case regarding law colleges affiliated with Bahauddin Zakarya University.

The FIA submitted before the court an interim report stating that the law colleges affiliated with the university had enrolled over 5,270 students and exceeded the limit.

At this point, the court directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to launch criminal proceedings within a month against the people found responsible for the act and submit a progress report on the next date of the hearing.

During the proceedings, a large number of affected students were also present in the courtroom, and they informed the court that the law colleges were not taking exams for LLB Programme students of the previous badge, which caused students to be concerned about their future.

Justice Ijazul Ahsen observed that this matter will be taken up after the FIA submits its final report.

Meanwhile, the court asked about the bar-vocational courses for law students across the country.

At this time, Hassan Raza, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), informed the court that these courses have been launched in the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad; he submitted, however, that due to a shortage of space, the course has not yet been launched in Balochistan.

He told the court that the Balochistan Academy has only two rooms and, therefore, the course could not be launched in the province.

At this point, Justice Ijazul Ahsen directed Hassan Raza to hold a meeting with the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court, inform him about the issue, and adjourn the hearing for a month.

The Supreme Court had ordered in 2018 that the LLB (three-year) programme be phased out, and a five-year LLB programme was introduced in September 2019. The law colleges were barred from admitting students to the three-year programme after December 31, 2018.

After the apex court’s verdict, the BZU syndicate had allowed 100 seats per college, but the 41 colleges exceeded the limit and enrolled more students for LLB part 1 (a three-year course) session 2018. The colleges were to enrol 4,100 students as they were allotted 100 seats each but they had admitted 14,000 aspirants. The bench had directed the committee, set up on the order of the apex court, that two weeks after the examination submit a report about the student admissions to 41 law colleges.