18th Amendment implementation: Supreme Court comes to HEC’s rescue

Published: April 13, 2011
Students from various universities protest against the devolution of HEC. PHOTO: INP

Students from various universities protest against the devolution of HEC. PHOTO: INP


The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against the much-debated devolution of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and directed the commission to continue functioning until further notice.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, also nullified the federal government’s previous notification issued on March 31 regarding the HEC’s devolution.

Attorney-General Maulvi Anwarul Haq told the court that the government was still contemplating the HEC’s devolution. He said the fresh legislation is being made and all stakeholders will be taken on board before the matter is decided.

The AGP also affirmed the court’s ruling that the HEC’s status is covered under the Higher Education Commission Ordinance 2002 and hence cannot be devolved under the 18th amendment. However, he pleaded with the court against issuing a stay order against the government’s notification as it will hinder the legislative processes.

Lauding the role of the HEC and its founding chief Dr Attaur Rehman, the chief justice stressed that education is the backbone of any country and the role of such commissions should not be undermined.

Senator Azam Khan Swati said that higher education should be prioritised as it is directly related to the country’s development. He said that the government’s decision to devolve the HEC was “against the spirit of the 18th amendment”.

Member of the National Assembly Marvi Memon said that the government’s lawyer had admitted before the court that the HEC “could not be touched without bringing in new legislation”.

Petitioners have argued that the subject of higher education falls under the federation’s jurisdiction and should not be affected after the 18th amendment’s promulgation. But the government had deemed the HEC’s devolution as necessary and issued a notification to this effect on March 31.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (41)

  • Alia Amir
    Apr 12, 2011 - 3:31PM

    HEC is working for Pakistan’s progress. It should continue to work. Recommend

  • Saad
    Apr 12, 2011 - 3:42PM


    This is called Haq ki Fatah !Recommend

  • Muhammad Usman Khalid
    Apr 12, 2011 - 3:54PM

    Supreme Court should not let the Government cut HEC into pieces. Recommend

  • Arshad Bajwa
    Apr 12, 2011 - 4:09PM

    Great news for future of Pakistan Recommend

  • saleem
    Apr 12, 2011 - 4:10PM

    SC has no option but to hold the decision of 170 million people and should reject the petition! Recommend

  • Mirza Zafar Hussain
    Apr 12, 2011 - 4:34PM

    Please let HEC function as it is now. It is one of the few institutions doing a good job, do let it remain so. First capacity building at Provincial level must be done therafter HEC devolution may take place. Educated parliamentarians are honestly required to decide the future of our coming generations and that to real degree holders.Recommend

  • Sufi Shah
    Apr 12, 2011 - 4:44PM

    Chalo Saad, you must be thrilled: After Batil truimphed at Mohali, now Haq has won. Or has it? Please read the report carefully.Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 12, 2011 - 5:00PM

    I think the report means that all the petitions which were filed to invalidate the HEC dissolution have been dismissed and not vice versa which all of the above seem to think.

    Please read through before posting.Recommend

  • Dr. Ahmad Faraz
    Apr 12, 2011 - 5:01PM

    Thanks God that, Supereme Court played its role and save the most important education promoting institution of Pakistan. Also saved the future of thousans who are studying abroad and who are approved to go abroad for higher education.
    Today is a very bright and hope ful day for the future of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Iftikhar Ahmad
    Apr 12, 2011 - 5:06PM

    Worldwide education is a provincial subject and HEC should stop functioning as federal for the future interest of PakistanRecommend

  • Adeel
    Apr 12, 2011 - 5:19PM

    doesnt the news mean that the dessolution of HEC will INDEED go ahead after amendment in the law? or am i wrong?Recommend

  • Shahid
    Apr 12, 2011 - 5:33PM

    why everyone is misunderstanding the news?

    Its news of despair not of bliss!Recommend

  • Usman
    Apr 12, 2011 - 5:39PM

    Woah, Our people really are ‘lakeer k fakeer’! Just that the headline contains the word ‘Supreme Court’, it doesn’t mean that it will be about something good. Get into the habit of reading carefully please.Recommend

  • zulfiqar
    Apr 12, 2011 - 5:53PM

    Win-win situation.
    Agood omen for the future of education.
    Judiciary must be commended.Recommend

  • Herrah
    Apr 12, 2011 - 7:00PM

    We need more bombs.Recommend

  • Ilyas Ahmed
    Apr 12, 2011 - 7:13PM

    The way people have reacted to this news and failed to understand it shows how important it is that HEC continue to work. Petitions were filed stop devolution, SC has dismissed them and NOT supported them. It has said HEC will function till presidential order in amended.

    HEC is ray of hope for Pakistan. Thou People like Dr. Pervez Hood bhoy and Dr. Wahab of IBA (former) are against HEC, it is common knowledge (of reseach scholars and professors, etc. and not just common man) that it s an organizaiton of immense utility.

    For those who criticize HEC one can only say we ar a nation of passionate critics (albiet without much ground!).

    Once education goes to provinces, we will only be producing Ph. D.s in geography, arts, ethinic literature and that too of very poor quality unlike Qualified people produced b HEC in nono-tech, quantum physics, biological sciences, etc. and of high quality. Studnts in every province will be studying its myopic politicians and promoting their views instead of Quaid e Azam and Iqbal.Recommend

  • White Russian
    Apr 12, 2011 - 7:50PM

    @Ilyas Ahmed
    Yes, we are a nation of passionate critics. And also a nation of absolutely deaf.
    There are critics, and then there are critics of critics. What is harm in listening to critics? Would it not be better to listen to valid criticism than offering a counter-critisim? Do we ever leave a chance for the possibility that may be there is some sense in the critique of Hoodbhoy? No, in this country when one has to be right, she is absolutely right, with no chance for any nuances, and the wrong people are just 100% wrong.Recommend

  • Chalo Chalo Nishtar Park Chalo
    Apr 12, 2011 - 8:04PM

    People confused by reading this story should get their credentials evaluated by the Higher Education Commission.Recommend

  • truth speaks
    Apr 12, 2011 - 8:11PM

    At Least a nice decision came…hope it will sustain and give a great slap to guys who planned its devolution…Recommend

  • Syed
    Apr 12, 2011 - 8:32PM

    This truly shows how our public reacts to rumor!!
    The headline and the news item clearly says,

    But people are celebrating as if its saved !! Bravo !!! Salute to the people who commented above !! Recommend

  • PS
    Apr 12, 2011 - 9:39PM

    I agree with Mr Ali and Mr Shahid on this one…Recommend

  • Shaheena
    Apr 12, 2011 - 9:45PM

    How can SC stop the devolution of education in provinces as promised to the smaller provinces under the 18th constitutional amendment. Skewed and favoritism can seen in this judgement: How can a Presidential ordinance (Passed by Dictator Musharraf) prevail over the 18th constitutional amendment. Are we heading for Judicial One UNIT again. People of smaller provinces always looked to Superior Courts but they got selective justice and have witnessed judicial murders, judicial validation of coups (judicial dictatorships) and now Judicial ONE UNIT. God save our country.Recommend

  • Dr. Ishtiaq Hassan
    Apr 12, 2011 - 10:07PM

    HEC must remain functional as it was revolutioalised by Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman. Pakistan was gearing up and must continue as the highly literate people through HEC. SC is requested to frame decision on the demands of people of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Asif Amin
    Apr 12, 2011 - 10:19PM

    It shows the independecy of supreme court and justice of superior judges. Thanks to all superior judges especially Chief Justice Iftikhar M.Choudhary for his kindness toward nation and motherland.Recommend

  • Saleem
    Apr 12, 2011 - 10:44PM

    HEC is a corrupt, inept and incompetent organization that needs to be dismantled. The research conducted there is meaningless, does not meet the most basic international standards and is mostly plagiarized. Starting from the top, the entire HEC management needs to be removed and HEC needs to be reorganized. We are doing a tremendous disservice to the country and to our youth by letting it continue. Recommend

  • H Q
    Apr 12, 2011 - 11:51PM

    The commentators here have obviously misunderstood what the SC did.

    Nevertheless, I believe the SC will take the Govt. to the last level of playing this game, and when the Govt. is exhausted, the SC will give a decision in favour of the people, against the Govt.’s ill wishes of dissolution of the HEC.

    Nothing to worry about people. Relax. HEC ain’t goin nowhere.Recommend

  • Mohsin Hijazee
    Apr 13, 2011 - 12:01AM

    Well, those PhD students produced locally are really pathetic already. Cant be worse. Copy Paste is not PhDRecommend

  • a ercelan
    Apr 13, 2011 - 12:15AM

    wierd ruling – ordinances expire unless made into an act by assembly. is there a pakistan beyond the provinces? the ummah of global greed?Recommend

  • realize
    Apr 13, 2011 - 12:26AM

    What innovation these immensely talented scientists prepared by hec have brought in?Recommend

  • Aamer
    Apr 13, 2011 - 12:54AM

    @Iftikhar Ahmad:

    Please cite examples of your claimRecommend

  • Syed Hussain Jafri
    Apr 13, 2011 - 4:25AM

    Why every department has been dragged in to politics. HEC should be the part of the provincial government. Please forget politics atleast on this issue. What the hell is HAQ KI FATAH AND BAATIL KI MOOT. This is about education not about any constituency”s election or about two political parties. This is been so illiterate and shameful to drag this matter in politics.Recommend

  • Amir
    Apr 13, 2011 - 7:30AM

    PPP slogan is roti kapra aur makaan … education is mentioned nowhere so what are we mourning about ??Recommend

  • Degree holder
    Apr 13, 2011 - 8:12AM

    Thank’s high court you saved our degree.Recommend

  • aqsa 64
    Apr 13, 2011 - 9:40AM

    go go…judiciary we allll r with u……Recommend

  • Jawad Iqbal Jawad
    Apr 13, 2011 - 10:17AM

    A light of hope for fair play in the country. It proves that people, out of their protest, can protect their rights. Especially youth can make things correct. Recommend

  • Herrah
    Apr 13, 2011 - 10:23AM

    What Rubbish. We need more bombs. Education is all an Israeli / Indian / American conspiracy to stop us from making bombs. Shame on all those who advocate education instead of more Bombs.

    Remember : ham bhooke nange rahenge but Bombs Banayenge.Recommend

  • Pakistan Patriots
    Apr 13, 2011 - 11:07AM

    Politicians, Judiciary, Beaurocracy and military are corrupts and treators, and Pakistan Awam is “BAWAQOOF”, so result is this..Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali Shahid
    Apr 13, 2011 - 11:39AM

    Herrah: I appreciate your interest in bombs instead of Education.
    Here the matter is concerned for Pride and Prejudice of Corrupted Politicians. All they want to get rid of the creepy media insulting them everyday on the fake degree issues. Although they wanted to remain unnoticeable in front of the people of Pakistan, that what category and what lobby they belongs too. If we take an example of developed nations, they do sort out their problems through Academia, but here in Pakistan all the matters are being resolved by corrupted politicians and unworkable silent machine (so called supreme court). We lack from education and it’s standard. HEC is the only solution to stabilize and equalize us in the international market as well as in the national market.

    When you are a complete illiterate, you really don’t know how it going to be effected on a life of simple ordinary man or woman. Recommend

  • pashtun
    Apr 13, 2011 - 1:11PM

    Supreme court didnt interfere in the devolution..it is authorized to interpret the constitution and that is exactly what it did when it ruled that HEC devolution cannot be done under 18th amendment… how many of the 442 parliamentarians are aware of the text of the 18th amendment? it is in english and we know the education level of our fake-degree holders… higher education is a federal subject in almost every country…. and anyways we all can see primary and secondary education under the provinces :)Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Apr 13, 2011 - 4:17PM

    Yesterday I also wrote comments but these media people restrict the comments which sometimes contain facts. HEC should not be in the hands of Province otherwise it will become the property of Waderas / Sardars and this institution will loose its usefulness. Recommend

  • Ahsan Khan
    Apr 13, 2011 - 6:52PM

    “HEC is working for Pakistan’s progress. It should continue to work.”

    HEC is working to increase the number of Ph.D. degree holders. It is not for the people but it is simply to increase the reserve tank of elites. The people is out of HEC.

    “Supreme Court should not let the Government cut HEC into pieces.”

    In any democratic system of government., it is the people’s government which is sovereign Any Supreme Court or any Divine authority has no authority over the government as long as the government fulfils the conditions imposed by the constitution approved by the people.

    “SC has no option but to hold the decision of 170 million people and should reject the petition!”

    Thank you Saleem for your sensible statement.

    “Thanks God that, Supreme Court played its role and save the most important education promoting institution of Pakistan. Also saved the future of thousans who are studying abroad and who are approved to go abroad for higher education.
    Today is a very bright and hopeful day for the future of Pakistan.”

    Dear Dr. Faraz, HEC is not an institute of public education but it is simply a machine to churn out Ph.D. degrees.

    “Worldwide education is a provincial subject and HEC should stop functioning as federal for the future interest of Pakistan”

    It is simply so, because we are not like others. Pakistan is not “Republic” but it is “Islamic Republic”. This point can be further developed if you wish. ahsan@noos.fr

    Pakistan was created, by the politicians in the name of Islam, for the people. Once it was established (14/08/1947), the people have been totally ignored by the rulers (from Jinnah to Zardari) in the system of government. Even for the most important event like the Constitution, they were never given the possibility to express their opinion through a popular referendum. An Islamic constitution was promulgated by a Secular leader;. though, the people of Pakistan have always rejected the Religious Parties in any election. The people of Pakistan are in the state (geographic) but out of State (Government).

    Generally, in Pakistan, the national programmes are for a small elite category and not for the benefit of the people. The defence for army generals, judiciary, for Supreme Court judges (and justices), industry for rich industrialist, agriculture of Feudal lords, education for top Ph.D. and the government for a few political families. Where are the PEOPLE in this State of Pakistan??Recommend

More in Pakistan