SHC asks whether Sindh HEC Act 2013 repeals HEC ordinance

General Karachi

Karachi: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has directed federal and provincial law officers to obtain instructions from respective law departments as to whether any provision of Sindh Higher Education Commission Act 2013 repeals the HEC ordinance.

A division bench of SHC was hearing identical petitions against proposed establishment of Sindh Higher Education Commission by the provincial government.

One of the petitions was filed jointly by former chief of the Higher Education Commission Dr Attaur Rehman and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Marvi Memon. Another petition was filed by Pak China Foundation, a non-governmental 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 federal subject and protected under a constitutional provision mentioned in the Federal Legislative List, therefore, any action on the part of the Sindh 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 to declare the Sindh Higher Education Commission Act 2013 as unlawful and unconstitutional. Anwar Mansoor Khan, counsel for petitioner, drew court’s attention to section 22 of the Sindh Higher Education Commission Act 2013, whereby provision of HEC ordinance 2002 to the extent of its applicability to province of Sindh stand repealed.

Ashraf Mughal deputy attorney general and Meran Muhammad Shah additional advocate general appeared before the court and requested for more time to obtain comments from the law departments in this regard.

The hearing of case was adjourned till April 9 with caution that there shall be no further adjournment in the matter.