The University of Sargodha (UoS) administration has started disciplinary proceedings against illegal appointees, including de-notification of relative of former Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Riaz ul Haq, additional registrar, deputy controller, faculty members and others.

They were as audit pointed out were illegally appointed and promoted to next grades and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had directed the Secretary Higher Education Department to take action against them.

Official sources told that the former VC faced the charges of nepotism, recruitments on important slots without following the due procedure of law to adjust his near and dear ones. After recruiting these people, official residences were also allotted to some of them without merit.

Earlier, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) took notice on the reports of the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) and the newly appointed VC Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad, with a resolve to ensure compliance, has started action keeping in view the legal course.

Official sources told that Dr Riaz ul Haq, an ex-teacher at BZU, was appointed as the VC of the university in 2003 and soon after his entry he started such illegal activities and allegedly gave development works to his own contractors. Later on, the illegally appointed officials carried his task of collecting kick backs in development works at medical college and Agriculture College of the University till 2011.

Izhar ul Haq, brother of the former VC is working as an additional registrar in the varsity and faces charges of getting the job without following the due procedure.

Izhar Haq also managed to bring his friend Muhammad Bashir as director academics in the university who was earlier working in Gujranwala at a lower level. These illegal appointees got promotions and they continued to illegally occupy higher positions and spacious houses despite the fact that these illegalities appeared in yearly audit books of the Auditor General of Pakistan. Moreover, the Punjab CMIT inquiry reports also raised fingers on them.

The PAC has directed the Higher Education Department (HED) to rectify matters erupted out of drastic illegalities and take action against those responsible. The HED has resultantly ordered the university to cancel such illegal appointments made without advertisements in the newspapers.

When contacted a senior faculty member from Chemistry Department of the UOS requesting anonymity said that it was a matter of frustration for regular university employees who have not been provided any accommodation as the beneficiaries were occupying the official residences meant for senior officers. It has also been reported that some of the family members were earlier appointed in the BZU without following the lawful process and then they migrated to the UOS when Dr Riaz UL Haq left the BZU and joined the University of Sargodha as vice chancellor. Now the game of illegal appointees is over, the assistant professor added.

Another faculty member from the Education Department commented that Dr Riaz ul Haq Tariq, the first VC of University, prior to his appointment as VC, had worked as a professor of Education at the BZU despite the fact that he did not fulfill the criteria for the post of professor. It is worth mentioning that dozens of illegal appointments have recently been dug out by the audit in the audit reports pertaining to BZU and the PAC ordered a high-level probe to identify authorities responsible for this corruption.

Considering the severity of the matter, the University of Sargodha has constituted a high-level probe committee to fix responsibility of illegal appointments, misreporting of official records, misinforming the Syndicate and decide upon recovery from these illegal appointees. It may also fix the responsibility for illegally allotted residences for overly paid salaries and commercial rent of residences occupied. As per UoS Audit Reports, the other persons enjoying appointments without advertisement and below criteria are; Mr Fayaz (BS-18) deputy treasurer, Mr Maqsood (BS-19) additional treasurer, Dr Saif (BS-21) Professor of Medicine, Idrees Mirza (BS-19) director, Maqsood Ahmad (BS-18) deputy controller examinations, and several other relatives of the appointees in Bs-16 and 17. Moreover, encouraged by the illegal practice, the university also recruited around 10 faculty members without advertisement in its medical college in 2012 and 2013. The audit has also desired de-notification in these cases. A senior official from HED commented that the government will not compromise on this point as protection cannot be granted in contravention of the Constitution, the supra law, in such cases especially in the presence of clear court judgments which ordered not only de-notification of appointments without advertisement but fixing responsibility as well.

Neither the UOS Registrar nor Mr Izhar ul Haq were available for comments. However, when contacted a VC office employee confirmed that the committee was constituted to fix responsibility after the HED and PAC directed the university administration to rectify the illegalities.