KARACHI: The government’s decision to shift Sindh Muslim Government Science College, popularly known as the SM college, to Government Degree Girls’ College has landed in court.
The Sindh government had earlier merged the college with the Sindh Madressahtul Islam, which has now been given the status of a university. Having control over the administrative control over the college property, the university’s management decided to shift the physical assets and staff of the SM Government Science College to the building of Government Degree Girls’ College located in the Kharadar locality.
On October 11, the education additional director for college inspection issued a letter to immediately shift the college to the new premises. The decision has reportedly been taken to create more space for the Sindh Madressatul Islam University.
Sarfaraz Khan Intiminanzai and three other students of the college have gone to the Sindh High Court challenging the decision by the Sindh Madressahtul Islam management.
Shifting the college during the ongoing session would seriously affect 1,500 students studying at the college, the petitioners submitted through their lawyer, Malik Naeem Iqbal. Moreover, the new college building given was not adequate for the SM college staff and students.
On Tuesday, a division bench headed by SHC Chief Justice Mushir Alam took up the petition.
Earlier a college in the same neighbourhood was shut down due to the law and order situation among other reasons, Iqbal told the court.
“The security situation in the neighbourhood is volatile and is not conducive for academic activities,” the lawyer argued. “It would deprive the petitioners and hundreds of other students of their right to education.”
The petitioners appealed to the court to set aside the letter ordering the college to be shifted and stay the process until the petition is decided passed.
After the preliminary hearing, the court issued notices to the provincial chief secretary and the governor, the Sindh Madressahtul Islam University vice chancellor, the principal of SM Government Science College, the provincial education director for colleges and the additional director for colleges’ inspection. The Sindh advocate general was also put on notice for a date to be fixed after 10 days.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2012.