MIRPUR (AJK) - The Azad Jammu & Kashmir High Court of has directed the AJK President who is also the Chancellor of the state-run Mirpur University of Science & Technology (MUST) Mirpur, to take immediate steps for the appointment Vice Chancellor of the university in accordance with provisions of Sections 10 and 11 of the MUST ordinance.

An AJK High Court divisional bench comprising Chief Justice Ghulam Musafa Mughal and Justice M Tabassum Aftab Alvi, issued these directions while declaring verdict on a writ petition challenging the appointment of the incumbent MUST VC Prof Engr Naib Hussain Chaudhry. The writ petition was filed by Engineer Dr Muhammad Riaz Mughal, a seasoned PhD academician of the Mirpur University of Science & Technology, Mirpur.

In its 22-page detailed judgment, the court also declared, "The crux of the above discussion is that the impugned notification dated 21.07.2011 is hereby quashed as being without the lawful authority. The office of Vice Chancellor of Mirpur University of Sciences and Technology, is declared vacant", the court ordered.

The AJK High Court also declared, "A perusal of prayer clause of the writ petition reveals that the petitioner has been solicited direction in the nature of mandamus for issuance of his appointment notification against the position of Vice chancellor of the MUST University. As observed earlier in the judgment, and it is also case of petitioner as well, that no recommendations of Senate and Search Committee were solicited by the Chancellor in accordance with the provisions of Sections 10 and 11 of MUST Ordinance, therefore, we are inclined to issue direction pertaining to appointment of petitioner as the Vice chancellor".

The petitioner Engr Dr Muhammad Riaz Mughal, a seasoned academician in the MUST University, Mirpur had challenged the appointment of Prof Naib Hussain Ch as VC of the MUST University for having been issued without lawful authority. The petitioner had, through the writ petition, stated that after the establishment of the MUST under the AJK Presidential Ordnance No XVIII of 2008, Dr Habibur Rehman was appointed as the first Vice Chancellor of the university in response to the advertisement published in Daily "Nawa-i-Waqt" on 13.06. 2009, inviting applications from the suitable candidates for the slot.

Upon completion of the stipulated tenure of VC Dr Habibur Rehman in the office, the position of VC MUST, was again advertised in a national urdu Daily on 08.11.2010 for filling the vacant post on merit.

It was further submitted in the petition that through the advertisement, applications were solicited from candidates preferably holding PhD degree. The petitioner being qualified as the PhD applied for appointment as Vice chancellor. It was averred in the petition that the respondent AJK President / Chancellor on political motivation and without the recommendations of the Senate and Search Committee of the MUST, appointed Naib Hussain as Vice Chancellor, who was simple MSc Engineering. Hence not qualified in light of conditions mentioned in the aforesaid advertisement, vide impugned notification dated 21.07.2011. Feeling aggrieved from the said appointment, the petitioner moved to file the instant constitutional petition in the court.