LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Thursday directed the Ministry of Education, Training and Standards in Higher Education to submit reply within two weeks, on a petition challenging appointment of Higher Education Commission chairperson Prof Mukhtar Ahmad.
Dr Qaisar Rashid, the petitioner, had challenged the appointment of HEC chairperson, submitting that he had no required qualification and experience to hold such a prestigious office. He said that the authorities concerned had also rejected his appointment twice but despite that he had been appointed as HEC chairman.
The petitioner told the court that 103 candidates applied for the job advertised in national newspapers and out of them only 18 candidates were shortlisted for interviews.
After interviewing them, the committee, which was constituted as per directions of the prime minister, proposed the name of Prof Mukhtar Ahmad, Dr Najma Najam and Dr Niaz Ahmad to the premier to select any one of them for the position of HEC chairman.
The petitioner said that the PM rejected all three names as none of them were fulfilling the required criteria and dissolved the committee also.
The petitioner further said that a new committee was constituted again to interview the eligible candidates for the said post. However, the Establishment Division issued a notification on April 16, 2014 and approved the appointment of Prof Mukhtar, said the petitioner. He said that Mukhtar did not have the eligibility to hold the office as he lacked the required experience and his appointment was made on political interference. He prayed the court to declare him as disqualified and direct the authorities concerned to fill the post with a well-versed and qualified person.
After hearing the initial arguments of the petitioner’s counsel, Justice Ali Baqar Najfi directed the ministry of education to submit reply within two weeks.