SHC disposes of application seeking injunction on operation of Sind HEC act

KARACHI: The Sind High Court SHC on Tuesday disposed of an application seeking injunction on operation of Sind Higher Education Commission Act 2013 and observed that it may pass an appropriate order in case the proposed commission assumes powers.

Headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam, the division bench was seized with two identical petitions filed by a former chief of the Higher Education Commission, Dr Attaur Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz PMLN leader Marvi Memon, and Pak-China Foundation, who moved court against Sind Assembly’s decision to establish a higher education commission at the provincial level.

The petitioners submitted that that the HEC must continue to perform its functions but the Sind government has decided to destroy the HEC by promulgating the act.

They said that the new law was a move to avoid verification process of lawmakers’ degrees which the federal Higher Education Commission had initiated on the orders of the election commission.

The petitioners said that the Supreme Court had already decided that the HEC was a federal subject and protected under a constitutional provision mentioned in the Federal Legislative List; therefore, any action on the part of the Sind government against the Supreme Court observation was unlawful and liable to be quashed forthwith unless a fresh piece of legislation was passed by the federal government.

The appealed the court to declare the Sind Higher Education Commission Act 2013 as unlawful and unconstitutional.

The court was also urged to grant a stay against the establishment of any proposed commission in terms of the recently passed law.

Meanwhile, Dr Attaur Rehman, and Marvi Memon filed an application seeking suspension of operation of Sind Higher Education Commission Act 2013. However, the court disposed of the application, observing that appropriate orders may be passed if at all such apprehensions were materialized.

The court also directed counsels appearing on behalf of the HEC and standing counsel to obtain the instructions regarding contention of the petitioners.

The hearing of the case was put off till March 20.