Islamabad - President Mamnoon Hussain and vice chancellor of a university are at loggerheads over convening of senate session of the institution, as seven members of the varsity senate would be retiring on December 23 (Tuesday).

President Mamnoon Hussain in his capacity as chancellor of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) had called a meeting of its senate on Saturday in order to avoid legal complications that could make the institution dysfunctional. But Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal succeeded in cancelling the meeting at the Aiwan-e-Saddar by bringing a stay order from court that, according to sources, infuriated President Hussain.

Press Secretary to President Hussain, Samina Waqar told The Nation that the president had called meeting of the senate of university in which the Vice Chancellor Dr Zaffar Iqbal would be removed including the seven senate members.

But the vice chancellor, who was appointed by former President Asif Ali Zardari two years back, said that his term had not been completed, adding that he would knock the doors of courts in case he is terminated.

“I will follow the law. Nobody is above the law and I will fight my case,” the vice chancellor told The Nation refusing to give further details, saying he would pursue the case once the meeting at the President House is concluded.

According to the sources, no session of the university senate has been convened for a year, which, they said, is mandatory under the university’s rules and regulations.

Vice Chancellor Dr Iqbal has been ignoring the directives of President Hussain in convening senate session and what university officials said could lead to legal implications as the senate members are all set to complete their tenures on December 23 this year.

An attempt by the President House to intervene and summon the senate meeting on December 18 was also thwarted by the vice chancellor by bringing stay order against the move from Sindh High Court.

Explaining the need for holding the senate meeting, the letter issued from the President House says that the term of seven senate members is expiring on December 23, 2014 after which the body would become dysfunctional. The teachers of the Federal Urdu University, that has two campuses in Karachi and one in Islamabad, have been protesting against the alleged administrative and financial irregularities in the institution.

Besides, a bank fraud of Rs 150 million also rocked the university, triggering Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to intervene that later asked for taking disciplinary action against the officers involved in the fraud.

“No senate meeting, however, had been held since October 2013. This inaction on part of the vice chancellor is a gross violation of the law,” the letter says, advising the registrar (Prof Fahimuddin) to perform his statutory duties as secretary of the senate and prepare and circulate the agenda for the meeting scheduled at Aiwan-i-Saddar, Islamabad, on Saturday, the notification added.

Sources said that the vice chancellor was a stubborn and upright officer who in recent past had declined giving favours to top government officials. “This may be the reason that everybody has turned against the VC,” an official remarked.

However, another officer in the institution said that the vice chancellor was unable to run the affairs of the university, triggering students and faculty members to continuously register protests again him.