KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has directed the University of Karachi (KU) and Higher Education Commission (HEC) to provide all record of PhD in law degree of the varsity from 2014 to 2019.
A two-judge bench headed by acting Chief Justice Irfan Saadat Khan also reissued notices to the Sindh Higher Education Commission, Secretary Universities & Boards, Sindh, Pakistan Bar Council and Pakistan Peoples Party leader Sharmila Farooqui since nobody turned up to represent them.
In September, lawyers Zulfiqar Ali and Khalid Mehboob had petitioned the SHC and contended that the KU had conferred a PhD in law degree upon Ms Farooqui last month only on the basis of “favouritism, political influence and in total violation of court order, law, rules and merits”.
They had also submitted that in February, the SHC had directed the KU to immediately discontinue its PhD in law programme until it fulfilled the requirements of the HEC and got an approval from the commission, but the university was still carrying on with the programme and awarding degrees in violation of the court order. Thereafter, the SHC had put all the respondents as well as provincial law officer on notice.
SHC reissues notices to Sharmila Farooqui, others on lawyers’ plea against her PhD
At the outset of hearing on Thursday, some lawyers filed power of attorney (vakalatnamas) on behalf of the vice chancellor, registrar and other officials of KU as well as HEC and sought copies of the petition with annexure. The bench directed the lawyer for petitioners to provide the same.
The bench again issued notices to the remaining respondents as well as the Sindh advocate general for Nov 8.
“In the meanwhile, respondents No.1 to 6 were directed to provide record of PhD law admission, examination documentation, results, thesis and degrees of students enrolled and awarded doctorates in PhD law form the year 2014-19,” the bench said in its order.
The petitioners had also contended that there were grave illegalities and nepotism in PhD law admissions and exams since admittedly there was no written or oral record available with the KU in respect of admissions of PhD law students from 2014 to 2019.
They sought directives for respondents to cancel the PhD degree awarded to Ms Farooqui and all such degrees issued between 2014 and 2019 as well as the PhD law degrees awarded to those students who claimed to be enrolled during such period.
Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2023