Legal battle: Two universities battle over territorial jurisdiction

Published: January 22, 2016
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SBBU Nawabshah goes to court against Sindh University's Naushero Feroz campus PHOTO: EXPRESS

SBBU Nawabshah goes to court against Sindh University's Naushero Feroz campus PHOTO: EXPRESS

HYDERABAD: The functioning of Sindh University’s (SU) Naushero Feroz campus still grapples with uncertainty as its legal battle with a Nawabshah varsity continues for two years.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) put SU on notice on Wednesday for initiating work for the establishment of its Khan Bahadur Syed Allahndo Shah campus in Naushero Feroz district, following a contempt plea filed by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University (SBBU), Nawabshah.

In April 2014, the SHC Hyderabad circuit bench had issued a stay order against the campus on a petition filed by SBBU, Nawabshah. However, classes for the BS degrees programmes in information technology, English, computer science, BBA and MBA continue to be held on campus.

In the petition, SBBU argued that Naushero Feroz is among the four districts which fall in its jurisdiction under section 5 of Sindh Assembly’s SBBU Act, 2009. The other three are Sanghar, Dadu and Nawabshah.

“No educational institution situated in the territorial limits of the university shall, save with the consent of the university and sanction of the government, be associated in any way with or seek admission to the privileges of any other university,” reads sub-section 3 of section 5.

“The University shall have jurisdiction within the limit of its Campus and in respect of all Colleges in such areas within the districts of Shaheed Benazirabad, Naushahro Feroze, Sanghar and Dadu [sic],” reads sub-section 1.

Although the matter is still under litigation, SU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Abida Taherani performed the foundation stone laying ceremony for the campus in Naushero Feroz on January 13. “The chief minister has approved Rs50 million for Khan Bahadur Syed Allahndo Shah campus,” she announced, adding that the campus will be built.

She also said that a law degree programme will soon be added to the existing disciplines and assured of strengthening the faculty and meeting the requirements for equipment and furniture. According to the campus’ pro-VC Muhammad Nawaz Narejo, some 450 students in five disciplines are currently pursuing their studies at the campus.

The SU has opened campuses in Thatta, Badin, Dadu, Mirpurkhas, Matiari and Larkana districts besides Naushero Feroz, where it began admissions from January 2014. In addition to SBBU, another university in Khairpur, Shah Abdul Latif University, had also challenged SU’s Naushero Feroz campus in SHC’s Sukkur bench but its petition was dismissed in March, 2014.

Meanwhile, the SHC Hyderabad circuit bench issued notices to the SU to submit replies on January 26 after the SBBU filed the contempt plea.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd,  2016.

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