LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday restrained the Higher Education Department from issuing notification of appointment of Punjab University Vice Chancellor till final decision, seeking reply by Dec 15.

Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir, Sami Uzair Khan and Wasif M Khan, candidates for VC slot, had filed the petitions, pointing out that an advertisement on November 04 was given in newspapers for appointment of VC PU. They told the judge that on April 07 through a notification, the HED prescribed the criteria for appointment of the VC in 11 universities.

Earlier on March 03 by a notification a search committee was formed for recommendations on the appointment of the VCs, they submitted.

The petitioners argued that the HED was not competent to issue such advertisement, adding that constituting committee and prescribing criteria for the VCs is illegal as it is in the domain of Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC).

They requested the court to declare the advertisement for the VC, criteria and search committee formed by the HED as illegal and unconstitutional.

They also prayed that the respondents be directed to carry out the process for search, selection and appointment of the VC of PU afresh, in accordance with the mandate of Constitution, the Higher Education Department Act, and Punjab Higher Education Commission Act.

In January 2008, Dr. Mujahid Kamran was appointed as Punjab University’s Vice Chancellor for a term of four years; then for another term of 4 years in January of 2012.

The second term of Mr Kamran will expire on January 22, 2016 due to which a fresh appointment is required to be made to fill the post.

DSP’s son gets bail in murder case: The Lahore High Court yesterday confirmed pre-arrest bail earlier granted to juvenile son of a police officer allegedly involved in killing a journalist of a local TV channel.

The court confirmed the bail of the suspect against furnishing of surety bond of Rs100,000.

Lahore High Court Bar Association’s president Pir Masood Chishti and Advocate Ali Imran appeared before the court on behalf of the suspect.

The told the judge that the petitioner had no link to the road accident as he was not driving the car that hit the victim. Even the petitioner was not present at the scene, he said.

The prosecution submitted that Talha, son of DSP Naveed Irshad, was driving his car recklessly in Sattokatla police area when he hit a media personnel Rana Bilal to death and drove away from the scene.

Privatisation record of MCB summoned: The Lahore High Court yesterday summoned complete record about privatisation of Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB).

The court also sought replies from the bank’s chairman Mian Mansha and others in a petition filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against suspension of its investigation into the bank’s privatisation. The court put off further hearing until Jan 20.

The NAB’s counsel argued that privatisation cases after the promulgation of Privatization Commission Ordinance 2000 could not be taken to the high court. He argued that the high court could not interfere in the NAB’s investigation in question as privatisation of the MCB was held in 1990. He prayed the court to withdraw the stay granted to the bank’s officials.

Officials’ residences record submitted: An estate officer on Thursday submitted before the Lahore High Court a complete record of 725 officials’ residences allotted to government employees.

The state officer told the court that all residences were allotted under the law while 597 plots were allotted by the Punjab Chief Minister as he had discretion to allot.

After the report of the estate department, the LHC asked both parties’ counsels to come up with arguments on the next date. The court put off hearing until Dec 22. Advocate Azhar Siddique, a lawyer-petitioner, had filed the petition and pointed out that the state department did not allot plots and official residences to a number of government employees serving at Punjab Assembly and Civil Secretariat.

He submitted that they were eligible for the allotment but still they were not. He prayed the court to order the government to allot residences to the officials without discrimination and purely on the basis of merit.