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Order restraining inquiry into Mardan varsity extended

Order restraining inquiry into Mardan varsity extended

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday extended a stay order against the inquiry of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission into different administrative matters of the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, including appointment to different posts.

A bench comprising Justice Irshad Qaisar and Justice Roohul Amin Khan also asked the commission’s director general and director (investigation) to submit comments about the petition of Abdul Wali Khan University’s registrar against the inquiry.

When the bench began hearing into the petition, in charge of the university’s legal cell Mian Saleemur Rehman and treasurer Mohammad Tariq said during previous hearing last month, the court had sought comments on the case but they had so far not been filed.

They requested the bench to extend the stay order issued last month.

The bench decided to adjourn the hearing asking the commission to file comments on the petition.

The commission was also told to maintain status quo on the inquiry until the next hearing, whose schedule would be fixed later.

The petitioner has claimed that almost identical inquiry was launched by the National Accountability Bureau Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which had still been in progress, so the ehtesab commission could not assume jurisdiction in the case.

The NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had started an inquiry last year after receiving complaints regarding alleged appointments on political basis in the university.

The petitioner said after NAB had taken cognisance of the matter, the university received a letter from the KPEC on Feb 2, 2015, seeking the same information, which was provided to NAB.

He said the KPEC sent letters to him on Feb 6, Feb 12, Feb 18 and Feb 23 for the same.

The petitioner said the commission without determining its jurisdiction in the matter had been illegally and unlawfully harassing the petitioner.

He said the acts of the commission were in violation of Section 35 of the KPEC Act under which if a federal agency had assumed jurisdiction in a matter, the commission must consult with the federal agency before starting its inquiry.

COMMENTS SOUGHT: The bench sought comments within eight days from the administration of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan in a petition filed by a lecturer against bar on him from going abroad for higher studies on scholarship.

Ijaz Sabi, lawyer for petitioner Naeem Riyat, said his client had done MPhil in Pakistan Studies and was also awarded gold medal.

He said the petitioner was appointed as lecturer in AWKU on Jan 6, 2013.

The lawyer said in Nov 2014, the scholarship selection committee of the university approved the petitioner’s case of going to the UK for PhD but later cancelled the decision informing the petitioner that it had received a complaint against him.

He requested the court to set aside the committee’s later order and allow his client to go abroad for higher studies.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2015

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