–SC had ordered anti-graft watchdog to complete probe in affairs of illegal Sargodha University sub-campuses
LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on Monday arrested the top former management of the Sargodha University, including its former vice chancellor, registrar, chief executive officer (CEO) and administration director of both Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin sub-campuses over their alleged involvement in the establishment of illegal private campuses.
As per the details, among the apprehended officials are former vice chancellor Dr Muhammad Akram Chaudhary, former registrar Brigadier (r) Rao Jamil Asghar, Lahore sub-campus CEO Mian Javed, administration director Muhammad Akram, Mandi Bahauddin sub-campus CEO Waris Nadeem Warriach and his partner Naeem Mukhtar Bajwa.
The accused were arrested by NAB inside its Lahore office in the light of the evidence presented by the varsity administration.
The arrests were made after Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Saturday directed the bureau to complete its inquiry into the affairs of the university’s sub-campuses within one week.
The chief justice had also directed the NAB DG to hear incumbent VC Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad, who had put his job at stake by exposing the sub-campuses scam that involves influential people.
On Monday, NAB summoned former Sargodha University VC, former registrar, and CEOs of the two sub-campuses to record their statement in connection with the private sub-campuses scam the incumbent vice chancellor and registrar also recorded their statements.
HEC audit report had revealed that five sub-campuses were established in complete violation of Public-Private Partnership Policy while Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin campuses were established by the then VC Dr Akram using emergency powers vested in him U/S 13(3) of the University of Sargodha Ordinance, 2002 and even without obtaining the necessary approval from the syndicate and relevant bodies.
Among its most revealing findings was the scale of corruption involving affiliated colleges and private campuses, which had sold degrees for cheap to thousands of students over a span of several years.
In February 2018, NAB, in its executive board meeting, had decided to hold an inquiry into serious irregularities and financial corruption on the directions of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Higher Education against the former VC of Sargodha University and other officials.
It is worth mentioning here that Sargodha University Vice Chancellor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad exposed the unlawful constitution of the five sub-campuses, including Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin before the court. The private campuses had been turned into money-making machines, deceiving the poor and lower-middle-class parents and playing with the future of youth, explained the VC, adding that the Public-Private Partnership Policy was prepared in a haphazard manner without safeguarding the interests of a public sector university and completion of legal obligations.
It may be added that the varsity syndicate barred the five sub-campuses from new admissions upon academic irregularities, mismanagement and failure to abide by the mandatory standards set by the HEC while the degree issuance process has been started by the university in order to facilitate and safeguard the academic future of the sub-campuses’ students.
NAB will present the accused before an accountability court for their remand today.