LAHORE – A three-judge bench of Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday observed that the Punjab government is floating court orders by not making timely appointments in important departments and universities.

The bench allowed Dr Malik Hussain Mubashar to continue as Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences till March 12 and summoned the counsels of both parties for final arguments.

The bench headed by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani was hearing Punjab government’s appeal challenging Lahore High Court order which declared Dr Mubashar reappointment as Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciences as illegal.

The court was informed that Advocate General Punjab Ashtar Ausaf is on bed rest till March 9 and could not appear before the court. At this the court adjourned the hearing and observed that no adjournment would be granted on next hearing.

The bench also expressed displeasure over Punjab government inability to appoint VC of King Edward Medical College University and Vice Chancellor of University University of Health Sciences.

Justice Jilani observed that the court could not leave the university unattended and would decide them matter on next date of hearing according to the law regardless of absence of any person. He further observed that the key posts were lying vacant in universities and the AG should ensure that these posts would be filled.

“King Edward Medical College University is functioning without vice chancellor for the last two years. Is not this ad-hocism severe of its nature?” another member of bench Justice Saqib Nisar remarked.

An additional advocate general Punjab told the bench that the Punjab government had on March 4 advertised the post of Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical College University and the process would be completed soon.

Opposing the government contention, Advocate Nasir Qureshi argued that the Punjab government already had advertised the post thrice but the vacancy could not be fulfilled for reasons best known to it.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan disposed off two petitions of Pakistan Medical Association for becoming party into this case. Pakistan Medical Association representative Doctor Mahmood Shaukat tried much to convince the court to allow them to become party but the bench rejected his request.

Talking to reporters, counsel for the petitioner Nasir Qureshi said Dr Mubashar himself did not challenged his termination.

He said the Punjab government had decided to defend him as 12 vice chancellors of other universities of the province would be effect with this decision of the Lahore High Court. He said appointment of the VC at University of Engineering University was also illegal.

Petitioner, the Punjab government, said University of Health Sciences Ordinance did not stop reappointment of VC after expiry of his four years term.

Muhammad Sajjad Hussain, a citizen, challenged his appointment before the Lahore High Court, arguing that Mubbashar was appointed as Vice Chancellor on April 7, 2003 in terms of section 12 of the University of Health Sciences Ordinance, 2002.

On July 31, 2005 he attained age of superannuation and stood retired from his service as professor but he was allowed to continue as Vice Chancellor in violation of section 47 of University of Health Sciences Ordinance.

His term for four years ended on April 11, 2007, even then, he was allowed to remain in office of VC illegally in violation of Section 12 and 47 of University of Health Sciences Ordinance.

Later, he tendered his resignation on April 9, 2011 and on the same day, he was re-appointed as Vice Chancellor of University of Health Sciencesfor another term of four years, Sajjad added.