None of the faculty members of the University of Karachi’s (KU) PhD programme in law are PhDs in the relevant field, a counsel for the KU conceded before the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday.
The high court was hearing a petition with regard to the launch of the PhD programme in law at the KU. Qamar Shahzad, Saeed Shahzad and others submitted in their petitions that they applied for the KU’s PhD programme in the law and were shortlisted for interviews.
They further submitted that the interviewing panel conducted the interviews in an unprofessional manner and irrelevant questions were put to them by the panellists. The petitioners submitted that they were later surprised to know that none of the five members of the panel were PhD in the relevant field of law and none of the members were actually having knowledge or service record in the area of legal education.
They submitted that the interviewing penal constituted for the admissions to the PhD programme in law was constituted illegally as none of them was a PhD in law and on such a score alone, the panel could be termed just a formality, which meant that the desired candidates must already have been shortlisted and the petitioners might only have been called upon to demonstrate that a selection process was held.
The SHC was informed that the KU’s PhD programme in law had ignored several directions of the Supreme Court as there should be at least three relevant full-time PhD faculty members in a department to launch a PhD programme.
The petitioners submitted that the dean of the faculty of law presently available with the KY was also not a PhD in law but he had done PhD in social works. In addition to that, she was also the dean of two other faculties, which was itself an illegal act on part of the respondents.
The petitioners asked that since the respondents had primarily not been eligible to conduct an interview for the entry test of the PhD students, how they were bestowed upon such a huge responsibility.
They submitted that it revealed that the authorities, being mindful of the result, had merely played a mockery with careers of the youth who had reached up to such a stage but were cheated in the name of the so-called interviews.
The high court was requested to declare the PhD in law programme of the KU as illegal and direct the University of Karachi to reconstitute the interviewing panel having the relevant qualifications for conducting the interviews afresh for admissions in the PhD in law programme.
The petitioners also sought a direction to the Higher Education Commission chairman to compel all the universities, including the KU, to appoint the dean of the faculty concerned having the qualification of a PhD in the relevant field.
A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar asked the KU counsel why the law faculty’s dean did not appear on which he submitted that he had communicated the direction to the dean. The high court directed the university counsel to call the acting vice chancellor of the KU to assist the court on the issue on the next date of hearing.