Justice Sajid Mehmood Sethi of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday ordered the Punjab government to restore Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmed as vice chancellor of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad by Oct 12. “One last opportunity is provided to the respondent (Sardar Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar) to submit compliance report by the next date of hearing positively, failing which the respondents shall be asked to appear in person for alleged defiance of court order,” a written order issued by the court after the hearing read. Last month, the Supreme Court had suspended a Lahore High Court decision and restrained Dr Muhammad Ashraf from functioning as vice-chancellor of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmad had passed the order hearing an appeal by Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan at the Lahore registry. Initially, Dr Khan had approached the LHC against the appointment of Dr Ashraf as the vice-chancellor. Khan had pleaded that he was the person highest on merit but the provincial government in sheer violation of merit as well as the directions of the LHC had appointed the person lowest on merit (from amongst the three shortlisted candidates). He said the Punjab Assembly Speaker while acting as chancellor in the absence of the governor on 16 April, 2019, had issued the notification of Dr Ashraf. Allowing his petition, a single bench had on 4 February, 2020, set aside the appointment of Dr Ashraf with a direction to the government to notify the candidate highest in the merit list strictly in accordance with law.However, Dr Ashraf and the government had challenged the verdict through separate intra-court appeals. Allowing the appeals, a two-judge bench on 19 March had set aside the single bench’s decision and restored Dr Ashraf to the position of the vice-chancellor. Consequently, Dr Khan had challenged the division bench’s judgment before the Supreme Court. The apex court had suspended the LHC’s decision and directed the pro-vice-chancellor of the university to look after day to day affairs until the decision on the appeal. During the hearing on Tuesday, the LHC expressed annoyance over failure of the government to implement the court orders and directed the authorities to submit notification regarding appointment of Dr Iqrar as UAF vice chancellor. The court also warned of contempt proceedings against Punjab chief minister if the court orders are not implemented by the next date.Moreover, the court suspended proceedings of Punjab Anti-Corruption Department against Dr Iqrar and sought a report from the department by October 11. The court has orders the anti-corruption department to refrain from taking any action against Dr Iqrar until the next hearing of the case.