QAU harassment case: Court dismisses petition of the accused

Examination controller argued that the decision taken at university was illegal.


Obaid Abbasi August 11, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


A court on Wednesday dismissed the petition of Sardar Babar, who has been accused of sexual harassment at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU).


Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman dismissed the QAU examination controller’s plea.

Making the QAU Syndicate, Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Masoom Yasinzai and Chairman Professor Dr Saqib Ali as respondents, Babar had filed a writ petition before the court challenging the show cause notice of August 4, issued to him by the university syndicate.

The petitioner maintained that he had worked as examination controller at the university for the last six years and has a good reputation.

On June 17, 2011, Madiha Waheed, a second semester MSc student at the university accused Babar of sexual harassment.

He said that the vice chancellor of the university later constituted an inquiry committee consisting of three professors and asked them to act under the “Protection against harassment of women at workplace Act” of 2010.

The counsel for the defence argued that the proceedings initiated against his client under the act were not applicable in this case.

He maintained that his client was not given any chance for cross examination and oral evidence was recorded in his absence, which is illegal. He told the court that the inquiry committee’s report, along with the statement of witnesses, was not provided to his client despite his requests.

“My client even asked the Inquiry Committee Chairman Professor Dr Saqib Ali to provide him with the statements on July 7, but he was not entertained,’’ said the lawyer.

He further contended that inquiry committee was biased and had some vested interests. “They want to remove my client from the post of examination controller,” said the counsel. He argued that constitution of the committee was also not in accordance with the law and the proceedings of the committee were hence illegal.

He prayed that the court direct the respondents to act in accordance with the law and declare the show cause notice illegal.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2011.

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