The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday sought a reply from the president of the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) and others for filling academic top slots in violation of the by-laws and the constitution of Pakistan. Advocate Umer Ijaz Gilani challenged the appointment notification of deans of faculties including engineering and technology, social sciences, Usuluddin, two director generals of Dawah Academy, and chairpersons law and environmental science departments at IIUI. Gilani on behalf of his client Dr Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmad made the IIUI president, board of governors of IIUI through its chairman, secretary Federal Education and Professional Training Division and Higher Education Commission as respondents in the matter. Gilani urged the court to nullify the appointment notification on the grounds that it has been issued in violation of the International Islamabad University Ordinance, 1985 (the “1985 Ordinance”) and delegated legislation framed thereunder. Appearing before a single-member bench of Justice Fiaz Ahmad Anjum Jandran in the matter, Gilani contended that by-laws of the IIUI stipulate tenures of important university decision-makers such as deans, director generals and departmental chairpersons. He alleged that the respondents have systematically violated such tenure-related provisions of the university statutes. “Violation of tenures is not a mere procedural irregularity; it is eroding “academic freedom”, a legislative objective which is expressly mentioned in Sections 5, 17(7) and 27 of the 1985 Ordinance and which, in fact, lies at the very heart of university statutes”, Gilani said. Seeking the court’s directives for IIUI for rectification of notification for the posts of deans, director generals and departmental chairpersons strictly in accordance with the law, the petitioner also urged the court to declare recently issued appointment notifications as illegal. Gilani requested the court to declare that the tenure-related provisions of the IIUI Ordinance and other university-related statutes are mandatory having a direct bearing with protection of academic freedom. He sought the court’s directives for the Higher Education Commission to issue advisory circulars to all of the country’s universities in this regard as a preventive measure. After a brief hearing of the matter, Justice Fiaz Ahmad Anjum Jandran issued notice to respondents in the matter saying, “Issue notice to the respondents for submission of report and para-wise comments so as to reach this court within three weeks”.