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Harassment Charges against PU VC
« on: September 30, 2013, 10:01:40 AM »
Harassment Charges against PU VC
Lahore : 30 September : A Punjab University (PU) Law College lecturer, Khujista Rehan, who had leveled harassment charges against the varsity vice-chancellor (VC), has lambasted the provincial ombudsperson and some members of the inquiry committee formed to examine the case of harassment.
Addressing a press conference at the Lahore Press Club on Sunday, the female lecturer expressed complete distrust of the province’s first female Ombudsperson Mira Phailbus saying the lady was not a law graduate and had instead studied Geography owing to which the she was allegedly ineligible to take up her case. She added the Ombudsperson was drawing a salary of Rs 400,000 per month and allegedly two million rupees were spent on purchasing official vehicle for her but she (the Ombudsperson) was ineligible to implement the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010.
Khujista Rehan also expressed concerns over two members of the inquiry committee, including Higher Education special secretary Suhail Shehzad and Irum Bukhari, Secretary, Women Development Department, Punjab. The lecturer said she had already raised concern over inclusion of Suhail Shehzad in an earlier committee but he was again included in the new committee.
According to her Suhail Shehzad had not asked the PU VC for comments over her complaint despite orders from the Punjab governor. Irum Bukhari, she said, was member of the PU syndicate. Khujista Rehan said she would not appear before the inquiry committee meeting to be held on Monday (today). Following her objection over earlier committee a new committee comprising Director General Judicial Academy Justice Syed Jamshed Ali, former judge of the Supreme Court, Secretary Women Development Department Irum Bukhari and Special Secretary Higher Education Suhail Shehzad was formed which had set September 30 (today) as the date of hearing. However Khujista Rehan said that she would not appear in front of any authority till the PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran was suspended from his office. She also demanded that “a law literate person” be appointed as Ombudsperson, instead of Mira Phailbus.
The Law College lecturer also tore apart a copy of the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010 in front of the media, asking what the use the Act was when justice could not be dispensed.
Khujista Rehan also came hard upon NGOs saying the foreign funded non profit organizations did not take up her case despite the fact that she was a foreign qualified lady. These NGOs highlighted Mukhtaran Mai’s case and the case of alleged killing of women in far flung Kohistan area but no one came to her help, she added. To a question she denied the allegation that she went on an 11 month ex Pakistan leave without taking permission from the university. Meanwhile in a press release, PU Academic Staff Association (PU ASA), the elected representative body of teachers, demanded the provincial ombudsperson proceed under contemned of court against Khujista Rehan for allegedly making false propaganda against Provincial ombudsperson and the PU VC to serve her economic and political interests.
The PU ASA spokesman said Ms Khujista went on an 11 months ex-Pakistan leave allegedly without taking permission from the university. When she returned the university syndicate could proceed against her and dismiss her from service under PEEDA Act, however, taking a lenient view, she was granted 11 month leave without payment. Later, she also applied for 11 month salaries and other benefits for the period she had spent abroad, the syndicate denied her request in its decision in a meeting held on March.
In this decision, Rozina Aalam, who was representing the HEC in the PU syndicate, observed that “proceeding on leave without sanction by Khujista Rehan in itself was a case of indiscipline which would not be tolerated at all”. Another member, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, endorsed these comments, according to the PUASA press release.
The spokesman said the matter is sub judice, as the case was pending at the Lahore High Court as well as with the Provincial Ombudsperson, the press conference was allegedly illegal. The spokesman also said Ms Khujista had herself filed a complaint with the provincial ombudsperson Mira Phailbus.The news.
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