Mechanism being prepared for utilisation of zakat for higher education, SHC told

Court recalls contempt notice to council chairperson

Our Correspondent September 27, 2017

HYDERABAD: For the students whose financial constraints do not permit them to pursue higher education, the Sindh Zakat Council will soon prepare a mechanism to fund their studies through zakat.

Sindh Zakat Council Chairperson Justice (retd) Zahid Qurban Alvi informed on Monday the Sindh High Court (SHC) that a committee of six members has already been formed in this regard, while three more members are also being included in the committee. The development came as compliance to SHC's order for financing higher education of deserving students through zakat funds.

The committee members include the zakat and ushr secretary and one representative each from the council and The Citizens Foundation, Karachi. The vice-chancellors of NED University of Engineering and Technology, University of Sindh, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Larkana as well as Sindh Education Foundation's managing director are also members of the committee.

SHC issues contempt notice to Sindh Zakat Council chairperson

The committee will form a procedure through which deserving students for zakat-funded higher education will be selected for all public higher education institutions. The recipients will be selected on the basis of need and merit. Although, it is unclear how many students will benefit from this funding.

"The council shall ensure that the zakat amount shall be provided to universities and degree colleges of public sector directly for proper utilisation ... without any involvement of the district zakat councils," read the order passed by the SHC bench, comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Fahim Ahmed Siddiqi.

The bench also recalled the contempt of court notice which was served on Alvi on September 7 as well as the order given to the National Accountability Bureau to probe the council's fund utilisation. Alvi, in his written statement, apprised the SHC that in a meeting on September 15, the council decided to tender an 'unconditional apology' to the court.

SHC extends bail of law minister

While disposing off four identical petitions filed over the matter, the court warned that any deviation from the stated commitment made by the council or non-compliance with the court's order would entail 'legal consequences'.

"[In case of deviation or non-compliance] action would not be dependent on a move by the petitioners alone but any information or complaint [submitted in the court] by anybody would be sufficient to [enable] the law take its own course," the order warned.


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