KARACHI- The Sindh High Court (SHC) today directed federal authorities and High Education Commission (HEC) to submit comments on two identical petitions challenging establishment of Sindh Higher Education Commission by the Sindh government.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar also directed federal and provincial law officers to reply to two petitions and adjourned the hearing till April 04, 2014.

One of the petitions was jointly filed by former chief of the Higher Education Commission Dr Attaur Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Marvi Memon . Another petition was filed by Pak-China Foundation, a non-governmental organization.

The petitioners suggested that the new law was moved to avoid verification of the lawmaker’s degrees which the Federal Higher Education Commission had initiated on the orders of the Election Commission of Pakistan.

They said that the Supreme Court had already decided that the HEC was a federal subject and protected under a constitutional provision mentioned in the Federal Legislative List. He said any action by Sindh government to establish its own commission would be filed in the face of Supreme Court observations.

They pleaded to the court to declare the Sindh Higher Education Commission Act 2013 as unlawful and unconstitutional.