SC orders closure of sub-campuses of private varsities


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Wednesday ordered closure of sub-campuses established by private universities.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, heard the case regarding the universities affiliated with the Higher Education Commission and their sub-camp

The court observed that the question before it was as to whether private universities could establish their branches (campuses) outside their jurisdictions or not but the Higher Education Commission clarified that the private universities cannot do so.

The HEC further submitted before the court that it had repeatedly warned these universities not to establish sub-campuses outside their jurisdictions but to no avail. The court further noted that as per the stance of the HEC, cooperation of federal and provincial governments in removing the illegal activities was inevitable; however, they did not do so.

The court directed implementation of unified education policies of the Higher Education Commission across the country and held that no compromise would be made on provision of standard and quality education to new generation.

The court directed that the federal and provincial governments should ensure extending its cooperation to the Higher Education Commission for maintaining its standard.

The court also directed the HEC to award degrees to the students who had passed out from sub-campuses through some special arrangements. The court held that uniform implementation of the HEC policies should be ensured throughout the country.

During the course of hearing, Ali Zafar, counsel for the students, informed the court that the students had approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) for their degrees, however, it had declared sub-campuses of private universities as illegal, directing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for taking action against the private universities

Justice Umer Ata Bandial observed that the Higher Education Commission has the powers hence there is no need for the NAB to inquire into the matter. “If the HEC is weak, the federal government will be directed to make amendments to the respective laws”, Justice Bandial remarked, adding the learned High Court Lahore had given the right verdict on the basis of facts.

It is pertinent to mention that the Preston and Al-Khair Universities had established illegal campuses in Lahore and Karachi while their students had approached the Supreme Court for not awarding them degrees on the directives of the HEC.

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