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Four PULC teachers withdraw ICA against Dr Shazia’s promotion

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LAHORE: Four assistant professors of the Punjab University Law College (PULC) have withdrawn their intra-court appeal (ICA) against the verdict of a single bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) whereby the petition of appellants challenging the promotion of another assistant professor, Dr Shazia Qureshi, to associate professor was dismissed a month ago.Earlier, the Punjab University (PU) Selection Board constituted to fill a vacancy of associate professor advertised in 2013 had recommended promotion of Assistant Professor Dr Shazia Qureshi, paving the way for her appointment as first woman principal of the PULC in its 146-year history. However, Dr Shazia’s promotion could not be finalised due to ensuing legal controversy.  Assistant Professors Samee Ozair, Nawaz Dogar, Iftikhar Ahmed Tarrar and Shahbaz Ahmed Cheema assailed the recommendation of the selection board through a petition in the LHC but the single bench consisting of Justice Ayesha A Malik dismissed the petition on April 11, observing that no discrimination or any irregularity was committed by the Punjab University administration in promoting Dr Shazia Qureshi.The petitioners had maintained that Dr Shazia was being promoted to associate professor arbitrarily and only in order to pave the way for her appointment as principal of the college upon which the LHC had stopped the selection board from finalising the promotion case. They had also maintained that promotion of Dr Shazia had no value in the eyes of law.Shahzad Shaukat, counsel for the Punjab University, had submitted before the single bench that two of the petitioners, Iftikhar Tarrar and Nawaz Dogar, had applied for a post of associate professor advertised in 2007 but that they could not meet the eligibility criteria as their research papers had not been published in journals approved by the Higher Education Commission. He said that both of the assistant professors were informed about their ineligibility and that they had already challenged their ineligibility through a petition before the LHC but that they had not informed the court about their pending petition.He submitted that another petitioner, Shahbaz Cheema, did not apply for the post of associate professor advertised either in 2007 or in 2011, so he could not challenge the proceedings of the selection board formed for an associate professor vacancy re-advertised in 2013 as none of the applicants from PULC faculty were eligible for the same vacancy advertised in 2011. He said that another petitioner, Samee Ozair, was also ineligible for the post of associate professor advertised in 2007 and 2011 while a call letter had been sent to him to appear before the selection board for the vacancy re-advertised in 2013. Justice Malik had dismissed the petition by observing that documents relied upon did not establish discrimination whereas the petitions of Iftikhar Tarrar and Nawaz Dogar were dismissed because they tried to get relief by hiding facts from the court.

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