While there might not be any educational requirements for heading the Private Institutes of Educational Regulatory Authority (PIERA), Atif Kayani is hardly the top choice for such a post.
This was part of the Supreme Court’s observations on Thursday, as it took serious note of political appointments against high-level posts. A three-member bench of the apex court was hearing a case against PEIRA Chairman Kayani, who got third division on his Bachelor’s degree, which incidentally is also his highest qualification.
The court expressed its concerns regarding Kayani’s appointment. “We will not allow politicising these posts,” the chief justice said.
Even though Kayani resigned from his post as the Director-General (DG) of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) following an earlier Supreme Court’s verdict, his appointment as PIERA does not break any rules, said Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) secretary in the previous hearing.
In the Thursday’s hearing, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed, “A half literate person was appointed as head of two main educational regulatory authorities of the capital city.”
Justice Chaudhry directed that a paragraph be incorporated in the detailed reasons explaining how an incompetent man was appointed as the head of such high level educational bodies.
The court also restrained the FDE and CADD secretary from transferring Dr Shahnaz A Riaz to any other department. Dr Riaz, a PhD scholar, was the main driving force behind the case against Kayani.
The court also ordered government functionaries to pay her the cost she incurred while fighting her case. The court ordered that the respondents in her petition pay her Rs50,000 within 15 days.
“Finally, today I got justice from the Supreme Court,” Dr Sheikh told The Express Tribune after the hearing. She added that in 12 years she got around 200 judgments in her favour, but the authorities did not consider any order and kept her busy in litigation.
The court also ordered Dr Riaz’s repatriation to FDE and declared her transfer to Academy of Education Planning and Management in 2010 void ab initio.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2012.