Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on Saturday ordered the Punjab Advocate General to furnish all records pertaining to the number of private universities in the province and their affiliated colleges, their fee structures and other operational details.
The decision was taken during a hearing at the Supreme Court’s Lahore registry in connection with a petition submitted by students of a college affiliated with the University of South Asia. The students had complained that they were not being provided with a degree even after the completion of their programme. The case about a degree not being awarded to a student of University of South Asia’s affiliate college was being heard by a three-judge bench headed by Justice Nisar where the Punjab advocate general was ordered to submit a report about the details regarding the provincial universities.
Nisar stated that all universities to have opened campuses in violation of any laws will have criminal cases registered against them. An officer of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) was also present during the hearing of the case.
“A degree document is insufficient; teachers are vital for any institution. Otherwise, the degree is simply a parchment of paper,” the HEC official said.
To this, the chief justice responded by saying: “I will see now who will obtain bail for whom. This is an act of fraud. They have wreaked havoc with the education system.” Furthermore he questioned: “Since when are these universities operating and how much fees do they charge?” The chief justice then directed that criminal cases should be registered for “opening campuses against the law”.