In a significant development, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday reinstated Dr. Tariq Javed Banuri as the chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

In a short verdict, issued by Chief Justice IHC, Athar Minallah, and Justice Amir Farooq, the high court declared the termination of Tariq Banuri as HEC chairman null and void and ordered his immediate restoration to the position.

“For reasons to be recorded later the petition in hand is allowed. Consequently, the impugned notifications, dated 26.03.2021 and 05.04.2021, are declared to have been issued without lawful authority and contrary to amended provisions of the Higher Education Commission Ordinance, 2002. Respondent No. 6, Dr. Tariq Javed Banuri, therefore, stands restored as the Chairman of the Higher Education Commission,” the court order read.

The government had removed Banuri in March 2021 through a presidential ordinance and alteration in HEC rules and regulations.

The move came after the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) approved the new ordinance, under which the HEC Chairman’s tenure was reduced to two years.

Subsequently, a notification  of  March 26, 2021 from the Establishment Division confirmed his removal.

“In terms of sub-section (5), read with sub-section (5A), of Section 6 of Higher Education Commission Ordinance, 2002. As amended vide Higher Education Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, Dr. Tariq Bannri has ceased to be the Chairperson. Higher Education Commission forthwith and is accordingly removed from the said post, with immediate effect,” the notification read.

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