PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday issued a stay order for the appointment of 76 professors, associate professors, assistant professors and lecturers at the University of Peshawar (UoP) until the court’s next order.
The order was issued by a two-member bench of the PHC comprising of Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ijaz Anwar Khan after faculty members of the UoP challenged the advertisement through a writ petition alleging that the posts were created for ‘blue-eyed people’, while well qualified and deserving applicants were ignored. The UoP vice-chancellor (VC), registrar, syndicate and the post-allocation committee are the respondents of the petition.
They informed the court that the criteria to hire these people was relaxed to such an extent that masters degrees holders were made eligible for the position of lecturers, which is against HEC rules.
The petition has been filed by Dr Amir Hamza and others who argue that the syndicate of the university is the only competent forum and an appointing authority at the university. The petitioners further added that a new post allocation committee was also created which has absolutely no mention in the statute of the university.
“But, here the syndicate has not played any role and despite the eligibility of the petitioners, they have been deprived of their right,” said the petitioner. “The post allocation committee has not adopted rational criteria for the purpose of allocation of posts.”
“The post allocation committee has no legal status as it has no mention university statue and it is the job of university syndicate to decide the hiring and promotion of faculty,” he added.
The petitioner told the court that he has been eligible for the post of assistant professor for the last two years after completing his PhD from a renowned British university, however, the post was not advertised despite its availability and a recommendation from the head of the department.
“The university administration has meted discriminatory treatment to them,” argued the petitioner’s lawyer. He added that others were declared eligible for the position of an assistant professor even though they had only completed their MPhil.
He pleaded the court to declare the advertisement, as well as, the post-allocation committee illegal and without lawful authority besides, directing the administration to hire and promote the existing faculty on the basis of merit.
As an interim relief, the petitioners have asked that the court issue a stay order on the process of hiring under the said advertisement.
The UoP’s vice-chancellor (VC), registrar, syndicate and the post allocation committee are the respondents in the case.
The two-member bench of the court has directed the respondents that they may continue the hiring process, however, no final notification of hiring is to be issued until the court’s final judgment on the matter. The court has further directed the VC to submit his response to before the next hearing of the case.