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Pick and choose strategy: SHC allows Sir Syed University of Engineering (SSUET)

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Pick and choose strategy: SHC allows Sir Syed University of Engineering (SSUET) petition against NAB

Karachi: The Sindh High Court (SHC) expressed extreme displeasure over the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials' pick and choose strategy, targeting a particular private institution and leaving others in the same field and allowed on Thursday a constitutional petition filed by Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) Chancellor Zilley Ahmed Nizami.

Justice Mrs Qaiser Iqbal and Justice Syed Mehmood Alam Rizvi expressed dissatisfaction over the NAB authorities' silence, despite directions to check on educational institutions collecting illegal fees during summer vacations.

The bench asked the NAB Assistant Deputy Prosecutors General (ADPGs) present in the court why they are interfering in the matters of a private university when the petitioner is not a public servant.

The bench also took strong exception to a statement by the NAB prosecutor that NAB can conduct inquiries against "any person". The bench then asked why NAB officials have not taken any action against schools and transporters collecting fees in June and July, the months when schools are closed for summer vacations, when they do not incur any fuel expenditure. The bench also observed that while computers are available cheaply, schools collect handsome fees for computer training, magazines and sports activities. It asked if NAB ever informed parents and teachers that they can lodge complaints about the illegal collection of fees by schools. This bench had also sent a copy of the judgement in a petition against a private medical college that did not return tuition fees paid in advance when a student withdrew after he got admission to a government medical college. It observed that the notice went unacknowledged.

The bench allowed the petition by the SSUET alleging harassment as NAB is probing charges of accumulation of assets. However, it left NAB free to probe strictly as per law, holding that "any action against the petitioner will be taken in accordance with the law."

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