CHS wants Board of Inquiry to fix SMBBMU VC’s role in student ‘suicide’ – Pakistan

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday ordered a commission of inquiry to file its preliminary recommendations into the role of Vice-Chancellor of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU), Larkana, in the alleged suicidal deaths of two students until March 8.

The two-judge bench consisting of Judges Aftab Ahmed Gorar and Adnan-ul-Karim Memon observed that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Aneela Atta-ur-Rehman, had insisted on an interim restraining order against his forced leave , but that the preliminary report must first be submitted to determine the role of the applicant.

Dr Rehman approached the CHS through her lawyer and attacked the notification issued on February 12, by which she was forced to go on furlough for 45 days and Professor Dr Hakim Ali Abro was appointed vice-chancellor of the SMBBMU in his place.

The bench issued notices to the Chief Secretary of Sindh, Secretary of Department of Universities and Councils, Dr Abro and the Solicitor General of Sindh directing them to appear in court on March 8.

Counsel for the petitioner argued that there was no provision under the SMBBMU Act 2008 as amended by the Sindh Universities and Institutes (Amendment) Act 2018 to order the VC of the university to proceed with a leave and therefore the contested action taken by the competent authority was a nullity in the eyes of the law.

He argued that the competent authority (Secretary of Universities and Councils) was empowered only in cases of gross misconduct, inefficiency, corruption, violation of budgetary provisions, moral turpitude, maladministration and poor management, which was not the case under study.

However, the lawyer claimed that the incidents of alleged suicides of the students, Dr Nimrita and Dr Nosheen Shah, prompted the competent authority to exercise the powers given to it under Section 9(10) of the Act 2008 as amended under the Act. 2018, as such, the whole exercise conducted in this regard was based on presumptions and no concrete evidence was available in the file to force the applicant to go on leave.

He referred to various documents attached to the petition memo, including a judicial inquest by District and Sessions Judge, Larkana, into the deaths of students and called the deaths a suicide.

Petitioner’s counsel also referred to an earlier CHS order issued in November 2020 in another petition and argued that in similar circumstances, that court held that there was no provision ordering the vice- outgoing Chancellor to take leave while waiting. of the investigation procedure.

He pleaded for the suspension of the contested notification while a provincial justice officer as well as the secretary of services, general administration and coordination department Ghulam Ali Birhmani waived the notification and argued that the medical department legal had found concrete evidence regarding the alleged suicidal deaths of the students.

Therefore, they further submitted that the competent authority had decided to investigate the allegations and that in the meantime, the Applicant had been ordered to proceed on leave until further orders under the Sindh Civil Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules 1973, just to avoid influence in investigation procedure.

The Provincial Judicial Officer further argued that the Sindh government was taking concrete steps to bring the real culprits to justice and therefore the petitioner should co-operate with the investigation committee constituted by the notification of the provincial government. empty Sindh published on February 12, and during this period. , the petitioner may not be permitted to continue as a VC of the respondent university.

The bench observed that the issues at stake in these proceedings were whether the vice-chancellor of the university could be ordered to proceed with a furlough under the relevant laws and whether the petitioner was under investigation. by the commission of inquiry set up by the government.

“However, it is clarified that the disputed notices are subject to the outcome of this petition. The Board of Inquiry is directed to submit its preliminary recommendations to this court at the next hearing date, in terms of remand dated February 12, 2022 , as regards the role of the applicant.

At this stage, the petitioner insisted on obtaining the interim order, that a preliminary trial report be submitted to determine the role of the petitioner in the aforementioned investigation,” he concluded.

Nimirta Chandani, a final year BDS student, was found dead in her hostel room in September 2019 and Nosheen Kazmi, a fourth year MBBS student, allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan in her hostel room. inn in November. 2021.

Posted in Dawn, February 24, 2022

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