LAHORE, Pakistan: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday rejected the bail pleas of former Vice Chancellor (VC) of Sargodha University and the Management of Private Sub-Campuses in Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin in Illegal Sub-Campuses Case.
A two-member bench of the LHC comprising on Justice Ali Baqar Najafi and Justice Waqas Rauf dismissed bail petitions of the six suspects, observing that keeping in view evidence on record the petitioners could not be extended the benefit of bail.
The petitioners included Ex-VC Sargodha University Dr Akram Chaudhary, University’s former Registrar Brigadier (retd) Rao Jamil Asghar, CEO Lahore Sub-Campus Mian Javed, Director Administration Lahore Sub-Campus Muhammad Akram, CEO Mandi Bahauddin Sub-Campus Waris Nadeem and his partner Naeem Mukhtar.
They were arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) earlier in October 2018 to complete its inquiry in the Sub-Campuses Scam as per the directions given by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar while hearing a suo motu case on a petition of the students of private Campuses of the Sargodha University at the Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry.
The petitioners were accused of receiving millions as bribe for allowing establishing illegal Sub-Campuses under public private partnership policy and jeopardizing future of thousands of students.
The NAB Prosecutor argued before the Court that the accused established private Sub-Campuses in Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin without obtaining necessary approval from the University Syndicate and other relevant bodies.
These sub-Campuses admitted students over and above the approved number of seats; charged huge amount in the name of University fee and issued fake transcripts, registration cards and other documents to the students, the NAB Prosecutor contended, adding that the bureau has collected evidences and statements of the students in this respect.
The Court was further briefed that Dr Akram Chaudhary has been involved in various financial and administrative irregularities while the management of Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin Sub-Campuses made huge amounts of money by charging extra fee from the students.
Earlier, an audit report of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) had revealed that five Sub-Campuses were established in total violation of Public Private Partnership Policy while Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin Campuses were established by the then VC Dr Akram using emergency powers vested in him U/S 13(3) of the University of Sargodha Ordinance, 2002, in total violation of Public Private Partnership Policy and even without obtaining the necessary approval from the syndicate and relevant bodies.
It may be added here that the issue surfaced after Sargodha University VC Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad highlighted the unlawful constitution of the five sub-campuses before the Court during hearing the Suo Motu Case. The private campuses had been turned into money-making machines, cheating the poor and lower middle-class parents and playing with the future of youths, explained the VC, adding that the Public-Private Partnership Policy was prepared in a haphazard manner without safeguarding the interest of a public sector university and completion of legal obligations.
The Court sent the accused on judicial remand in NAB custody where they could be kept for 90 days or until filing of a charge sheet before the Court.