A university in Punjab has unlawfully awarded a PhD degree to a candidate, while inducting him against a senior slot, subsequently. However, both the concerned authorities, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Islamabad and the HEC Punjab are turning a blind eye to the matter. According to the documents available with Daily Times, the University of Sargodha (UoS) has awarded a PhD degree in English to Dr Ijaz Asghar Bhatti, whereas, the university’s English department does not even offer a PhD programme. Initially, he was appointed as a lecturer in the department on the basis of his MPhil degree, and now, he has been promoted as an Assistant Professor after the university ‘unlawfully’ awarded him a PhD degree. This happened mainly because a PhD degree is the primary requirement, according to HEC, for such appointments or promotions of the faculty in any university in the country. Moreover, the University also does not have the faculty to teach PhD scholars in English Department. The relevant document indicates that there was no PhD program in UoS until 2018, whereas the fake degree was awarded to Dr Ijaz in 2007. The page number 58 of the admission prospectus authenticates these facts. In addition to his promotion, the UoS also recommended his name for the post of Registrar, who is a principal administrative head of the university. A summary that enlists the names of Dr. Ijaz as the primary candidate, and the acting registrar Dr. Fahad Ullah and the head of history department Dr. Abrar Zahoor as alternate candidates, was prepared by a committee constituted by the former vice chancellor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad, and forwarded to the governor of the Punjab, who is chancellor as per the laws. However, informed sources disclosed, the administration concealed all such facts from the chancellor, while sending him this summary. Furthermore, the documents revealed, Dr Ejaz’s appointment as a lecturer was also questionable and he had also been under investigation for his alleged involvement in embezzlement in ‘student self-support programs’ of varsity. According to the documents compiled by CMIT Punjab, HED Punjab Dr. Ejaz was found guilty in many cases. However, the university still has taken no action in this regard. Another special audit report of the Auditor General office recommended the removal of Dr. Ijaz from the service as he had been illegally hired and promoted. He was appointed, without any advertisement, as a Lecturer in 2003, and then appointed as an Assistant Professor in 2007 without meeting the HEC eligibility criteria. Earlier, according to the record of the documents, he was relieved with salary on study leave on account of a PhD scholarship at University of Auckland, New Zealand, but failed to complete the degree and came back with a Masters degree in English, hence, caused a loss of millions to the University exchequer. These documents further reveal that CMIT Punjab’s inquiry has recommended to probe him on an account of tampering the official record of the varsity and to refer his case to NAB for detailed inquiry and action. An inquiry on receiving a huge amount of money, looted from the fee submitted by the students of self-support programs is also pending for action with Anti-Corruption Establishment Sargodha. The faculty at UoS is raising concerns over such malpractices at the prestigious academic institution and the corrupt designs of the former VC Ishtiaq Ahamad. They have demanded strict action by the relevant authorities over such mala fide moves. When contacted on his mobile phone, Vice Chancellor of UoS Dr. Shahid Munir expressed ignorance regarding the entire episode, as per his claims, he has recently resumed office. “However, I assure you, we will thoroughly look into the matter and take due action in this regard,” he committed.