KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed on Wednesday, for the third consecutive time, the education department directors to explain the wisdom behind the shifting of Sindh Muslim Science College from its relatively peaceful location to the restive neighbourhood of Lyari.
Both the directors for colleges and buildings inspection have failed to submit their comments in this regard despite the court’s repeated directives since November, 2012. A division bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, also extended the temporary stay order granted earlier against the shifting of the assets and staff of the government educational facility.
The controversy rose when some of the college students went to the court last year against the government’s decision to shift the college building. They said that the Sindh government had earlier merged the Sindh Muslim (SM) Government Science College with Sindh Madressatul Islam, which was later given the status of a university.
Once the university’s management took control of the administrative affairs of the college, it decided to shift the physical assets and staff of the SM College to the building of Government Degree Girls’ College in Kharadar.
On October 11, 2012, the education additional director for college inspection issued a letter to shift the college to the new premises immediately. Reportedly, the decision was taken to create space for the newly established university. But four college students, including Sarfaraz Khan Intiminanzai, took the government to Sindh High Court and challenged the decision.
The petitioners had claimed that shifting the college during an ongoing session would seriously affect 1,500 students studying at the campus. Moreover, the new building allocated for the college was not large enough to accommodate the staff and students.
Law and order situation
The students had specifically mentioned in their plea that earlier a college in the same neighbourhood, where SM College was being shifted to, was shut down due to poor security situation. “The security situation in the neighbourhood is volatile and not conducive for academic activities,” they argued. The students appealed to the court to set aside the letter ordering the college to be shifted and stay the process until the petition was decided. According to them, the shifting of the college would waste the whole academic year of hundreds of students.
On Wednesday, the two judges took up the matter but the directors for colleges and colleges’ inspection had not filed their comments despite repeated directions.
The bench repeated notices to both the directors with a direction to the Additional Advocate General, Rafiq Rajori, to file their comments by August 27. Till then, the court extended stay against shifting of the college.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th,2014.
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