SHC seeks govt reply in petition against provincial HEC

Karachi: The Sindh High Court SHC on Wednesday directed federal and provincial law officers to furnish their replies in a petition proposed constitution of a Higher Education Commission by the provincial government of Sind.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam adjourned the hearing of two identical petitions against Sind Assembly’s decision to establish a higher education commission at the provincial level to March 29.

One of the petitions was filed jointly by former chief of the Higher Education Commission Dr Attaur Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz PMLN leader Marvi Memon. Another petition was filed by Pak China Foundation, a nongovernmental organization.

The petitioners submitted 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 of Pakistan.

They 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.

They pleaded the court declare the Sind Higher Education Commission Act 2013 as unlawful and unconstitutional.

Ashraf Mughal deputy attorney general and Meeran Muhammad Shah additional advocate general appeared before the court and requested for more time to obtain comments from the respective authorities.