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May 14, 2019

KP governor restrained from interfering in Edwardes College affairs


May 14, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Monday restrained the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor as Board of Governors (BoG) chairman from interfering in the affairs and administrative matters of the Edwardes College, Peshawar.

A division bench comprising Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan and Justice Ayub Khan issued a stay order barring the governor from conducting BoG meetings till next order of the court.

The bench issued the stay order in a writ petition filed by Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters, who claimed to be chairman of the BoG Edwardes College, through his lawyer Khalid Mehmood, seeking a court order to restrain the governor from interfering in the affairs of the college and also to stop him from passing any adverse action against the petitioner.

The court issued the notice to the governor through the principal secretary, chief secretary, secretaries Higher Education and Finance and secretary Establishment Islamabad to submit reply and explain whether the College is a public sector institute or private institute.

The petitioner claimed that Edwardes College was run through BoG and he, being the chairman of the BoG, and Bishop, Diocese of Peshawar, Church of Pakistan looks after its affairs.

He claimed that the college is a private educational institution, funded by its own resources and no budget allocation is made by the provincial or federal government for running its affairs.

“It is also registered with the Higher Education Regulatory Authority (Hera), University of Peshawar and Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) Peshawar as a private college,” he claimed.

It was submitted that the KP governor, without having locus standi posing himself chairman of

the BoG of Edwardes College, issued a letter on March 3, 2019, to summon a meeting of the BoG on March 8.

However, it said when the judgment of the high court issued on March 22, 2016, was brought to the notice of the governor, the said meeting was postponed by issuing a letter on March 7.

It was claimed in the petition that one Miss Ayesha Durrani, a lecturer on contract, appealed to the governor when her contract was not renewed in the light of the judgment of Supreme Court.

It said the governor then through secretary Higher Education asked the principal of the Edwardes College to consider the renewal of the contract of the lady.

The petitioner said that another illegal letter was issued by the governor to submit approval of revised estimates and budget estimates for the year 2019-20.

It said that another letter was issued by the secretary, Higher Education on February 19, through which detailed information was asked to submit from public sector companies.

The petitioner said the college is not a public sector institute or autonomous body under any public office as it does not receive any financial support/funding from the public sector.

The petitioner stated that despite the judgment of the high court on the legal status of Edwardes College, respondents were interfering, illegally malafide, without lawful authority, usurping their power and official status and colourable exercise of power in the smooth running of affairs of Edwardes College.

The petitioner claimed that the impugned letters and directions mentioned above issued by the respondents were illegal.

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