LAHORE - The Higher Education Department (HED) has directed the University of Sargodha (UOS) to de-notify appointments made without following the proper procedure.

These recruitments were made without floating advertisements in the newspapers.

The Higher Education Department committee concluded the cases of appointments made without advertisement by the University of Sargodha. Keeping in view the Audit Reports of the Auditor General of Pakistan, the HED directed the varsity administration to de-notify the illegal appointments and re-advertise the vacancies as per the legal requirements.

Izhar ul haq, brother of ex-VC Riaz ul Haq, appointed without advertisement as Asst Registrar and then illegally promoted to BS-19; Muhammad Maqsood, appointed without advertisement in BS 17 and then promoted illegally in BS 19; Fiazul Haq, appointed in BS 16 and illegally promoted in BS18; Saif Goraya, appointed without advertisement in BS 21; Farooq Sabir in BS-18; Sheeraz Saleem, Ayesha Kamran, Irshad Ahmad also in BS 19; and Alishba Ijaz, A Saboor, M Khan, Ambreen Haroon, Zulfiqar Ali also recruited in BS-18.

All these appointments were made without advertisement that is a serious violation of general rules, provisions of the Constitution and court verdicts on the procedure of appointments, says the HED letter directing the university to de-notify these irregular and illegal appointments.

These appointments, especially those made on administrative slots were made during the period of first VC Riaz UL Haq. Sources said he tried to adjust most of his relatives and friends with a very poor academic background in the autonomous organisation while exploiting his official position. The current administration, however, has started cleaning the mess left behind.

Sources in the HED revealed that there were several appointments that were made by the UOS in violation of the prescribed procedure of appointments against various posts.

The Audit had referred to the government instructions and the provisions of the Constitution that guarantee equality of citizens for such public sector opportunities, and the court judgments of the early 1990s in similar cases concluded by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The HED officials are of the view that other varsities too will have to discontinue such practices including the cases of the past irregularities in appointments.

The HED has further directed the university to fix responsibility for such illegalities as observed by audit and the inquiry reports.

A senior official from HED told The Nation that strict action would be taken in case of delayed or weak response in such cases. He criticised the ineffective role of governing bodies of the universities as, according to him, such bodies remain indifferent and avoid asserting in matters of violation of procedures and favoritism.

It has also been learnt from legal experts that continuity of such serious irregularities and defiance of court judgments on procedure of appointments may result in contempt of court proceedings against those responsible.

The UOS administration had included the case of illegal appointments in the syndicate meeting that decided to follow the government instructions in this regards.

Moreover, the university has also constituted a probe committee that also includes HED, HEC representatives to look into the issue and finalise recommendations. Now, as the Punjab government finally directed the university administration to de-notify the illegal appointments, the syndicate may in its coming meeting expected mid-July 2017 approve its decision formally.