LAHORE Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday reserved judgment on six petitions challenging the procedure set for the appointment of vice-chancellors of six public sector universities as well as the composition of the Search Committee for finding suitable candidates for these slots. Earlier, the court heard arguments of the petitioners counsel and Muhammad Hanif Khatana, the Additional Advocate General. Mr. Khatana on behalf of the Punjab government informed the court that the appointments of all the six VCs were being made in accordance with the law and rules. According to the law officer (Khatana), the Committee had short-listed as many as 89 candidates out of total 235 through a transparent and fair procedure for the VC posts. All the candidates so picked up qualified the set criteria. The petitions have been filed by Dr. Hassan Amir Shah and others. Shah, a professor of physics in Government College University of Lahore, through his counsel Anwar Kamal, pleaded that there were no rules, regulations and policy guidelines for selection and appointment of members of the Committee thus the committee lacked legal basis for selecting VCs for the public universities. The petitioner pointed out that none of the members of the search committee was a PhD or held teaching experience as such the members were non-technical and ineligible to select the VCs, and were also not competent to interview the candidates who had much higher academic qualifications than the members. He said the Punjab government through advertisement on Jan 19, 2011, had invited applications for the post of vice-chancellors in six public sector universities of Punjab. Shah said he also applied for the post of vice-chancellor of the GCU being eligible as per criteria laid down in the advertisement. A candidate for that post is required to be holding a PhD degree in any subject from a reputed university. The Committee changed this criteria and preferences and invited only foreign-qualified candidates. He said call letters were only issued to candidates holding a PhD degree from a list of 500 top foreign universities. The candidates holding PhD degrees from Pakistani universities were not called for interview. And he being holder of a PhD degree from Quaid-e-Azam University was also not called for interview, the petitioner added. He pleaded the court that the exclusion of his name from the process of selection by not being called for interview was discriminatory and illegal.