LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday summoned the Secretary Higher Education Commission to explain why the vice chancellors were appointed in four public sector universities despite the stay order.

Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC passed the order and adjourned further hearing for March 15.

The court had already stayed the process for the impugned appointments. The varsities include Punjab University, Lahore College for Women University, University of Sargodha and Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology Multan.

Punjab University Zoology department Dr Asmatullah had filed the petition and pointed out that Punjab Higher Education Commission and Punjab Higher Education Department initiated the process for the appointment of the VCs without lawful authority. He said search committees formed by the government were also illegal.

He said the powers to appoint the VCs solely rested with Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. He asked the court to direct the government to appoint the VCs in accordance with the law and observe merit.

The government’s counsel opposed the allegations of the petitioner and said the whole process for the appointment of the VCs was in accordance with law. However, the judge after hearing both sides, summoned Secretary HED to explain the situation.

Meanwhile, an intra court appeal has been filed in the Lahore High Court against the decision of a single bench on a petition seeking cancellation of registration of Muttahida Qaumi Movement as political party.

Ali Javed Dogar of PTI had filed the appeal and submitted that the decision of the single bench was wrong. He said the single bench ignored the facts while deciding this petition. He prayed to the court to order the ECP to cancel its registration as political party for its alleged links with RAW.

While in the case of power coal projects, the LHC directed both parties to come up with more arguments. The hearing adjourned for indefinite period.

Tax on POL prices: Judicial Activism Panel had challenged 17 per cent tax on POL prices before the LHC. The Panel filed the petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique.

The tax on POL prices was unlawful. He requested the court to declare this 17 per cent tax on POL prices as null and void.