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January 21, 2021

KU’s institute approves early retirement of employee over misbehaviour

Karachi

January 21, 2021

The administration of the HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, which is part of the University of Karachi’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Science (ICCBS), has approved early retirement of one of its employees during a disciplinary action over charges of misbehaving with a female scholar.

The decision was taken on recommendations of a four-member inquiry committee authorised to investigate the complaint filed by a faculty member. According to a letter issued by the ICCBS on January 15, the committee extensively investigated the case and concluded that the employee’s behaviour with his colleagues and seniors was not appropriate.

Referring to the committee’s recommendations, the ICCBS administration said: “From the proceedings of the committee, it was established that Senior Lab Assistant Zahid Hussain Fatimi is guilty of serious misconduct, intimidation, and subordination. He not only misbehaved with female students but also didn’t perform his assigned duties, and students working in the lab are disturbed and do not feel comfortable working in the lab in Fatimi’s presence.”

The letter further states that during his employment, a total of 16 complaints were lodged against him and he was served six show-cause notices and 10 warning letters. He was also suspended once.

“Accordingly, it is now established that despite given the final notice dated June 23, 2017, Mr. Fatimi didn’t improve his attitude,” the letter reads. “He has been afforded plenty of chances to show improvement and rectify his behavior and performance; however, he has failed to show any remorse.”

Noting the recommendations, the letter states that the committee recommended the termination of his services. “However, on humanitarian grounds, the committee suggests, at the opinion of the institute and after taking legal advice on this matter that rather terminating Mr. Fatimi, he be retired from services immediately under the section 40-A of the University of Karachi Act 1972.”

The letter also states that as he has completed over 25 years of service, he may be eligible for pension and other benefits after retirement, which he would not get on job termination. The letter adds that the suggestion of deciding early retirement for him has been made only on humanitarian grounds.

“We reached this decision after we completed all appropriate steps of the institute’s disciplinary process,” the letter reads. When The News contacted Fatimi for his version, he said he was getting early retirement and refused to comment further.