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SC directs HEC to shut ‘illegal campuses’ of private varsities

15 Dec, 2021
SC directs the mandatory implementation of HEC’s uniform policy. AFP/File
SC directs the mandatory implementation of HEC’s uniform policy. AFP/File

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to shut all illegal private university campuses across the country and called for the implementation of HEC’s uniform policy, Aaj News reported.

A three-member bench presided by Justice Umar Ata Bandial gave the order while hearing a case related to the non-issuance of degrees to students from illegal campuses of private universities.

The apex court ordered HEC to create a"special process" to ensure that the degrees are awarded, while stressing that no compromises should be made on the young generation's education. The SC further directed that the implementation of HEC’s uniform policy must be ensured, adding that federal and provincial governments should extend full support in maintaining the standards of education.

The court also maintained that varsities are not permitted to build campuses outside their boundary walls, while remarking that the comission has issued several warnings to universities regarding their illegal campuses. It was also noted that "the federal and provincial governments did not extend any kind of support to the HEC.”

Students’ lawyer Ali Zafar informed SC that the Lahore High Court deemed the campuses illegal, which Justice Bandial agreed with but when the court was informed that LHC had also directed the National Accountability Bureau to investigate the matter, he said, “The HEC has the authority. NAB does not have to investigate the matter. If the HEC is weak then we will order the Centre to amend the laws.”

It is pertinent to mention that Preston University and Al Khair University both built illegal campuses in Lahore and Karachi.