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Court threw away Farah Dogar additional marks case

Islamabad High Court throws away challenge to additional exam marks
Islamabad, Jan 17: The Islamabad High Court threw away on Friday petitions challenging the grant of additional marks to a daughter of Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar in the FSc examinations and held that no exception could be taken by the high court to the re-evaluation made by examiners.

"There is nothing wrong in the marks increased in re-evaluation by the experts in the field and no exception can be taken by this court to the procedure adopted by the chairman (Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education) and the re-evaluation made by examiners," Chief Justice Sardar Mohammad Aslam observed while rejecting the two petitions for being without merit.

The petitions were moved by Iftikhar Hussain Rajput and Azam Khan Sultanpuri of the Tehreek Falah-i-Pakistan.

The 14-page order also asked the secretary of the ministry of education, the controlling authority of the FBISE, to consider the possibility of bringing an amendment to the board rules to provide a procedure for re-evaluation of papers.

Mr Sultanpuri was not happy with the decision and termed it a "death of justice" that would continue to happen in future. He expressed his intention to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court and said the order would have serious implications for brilliant students.

Raja Abdur Rehman, the counsel for former chairman of the FBISE Commodore (retd) Shamshad Ahmed, suggested provisions regarding the filing of an intra-court appeal in the IHC against the decision of a single bench.

"Victorious are the students as the decision has brought a good news for those who were discriminated in the process of examination papers' checking. They could now appeal to the board for reassessment of their papers," he said.

He said the controversy should now end and the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Education should accept the judgment.

On Dec 5, the Supreme Court while taking up a petition had stayed a probe by the standing committee into the matter, but later dismissed the petition.

On Dec 13, Farah Hameed Dogar came out in defence of herself and said that saying her career had no grey area and her blotless performance in school and college could be verified.

Authored by the IHC chief justice, the Friday's judgment said that in order to foster the principle of justice a wrong had to be remedied. "In the absence of a statutory provision, residuary power rests with the authority to undo manifest case of victimisation by the examiners."

Citing a Supreme Court verdict in the Salma Afroze case which had held that the principle of undoing the wrong was available to both the FBISE and the court, the judgment said re-evaluation could serve as a check on arbitrariness, casualness and negligent attitude of the examiner.

The constitutional courts in Pakistan, the judgment noted, had always been directing re-evaluation in cases of hardships and exceptional nature itself, where the rule did not permit such an exercise.

"An examinee may not suffer in his career on account of incorrect marks awarded by a sub- or head-examiner, in the absence of supervisory power with the board or the university directing re-evaluation," it said.

During the proceedings, the record of answer scripts of Miss Farah, which had earlier been sealed, was de-sealed in the presence of the counsel for the parties for their examination. Dawn

My son is no Farah Dogar
Islamabad: My son, who is presently studying in LUMS, got very upset to see his marks in Chemistry in 2004 matric examination. He contested that something drastically has gone wrong as there was no way that he could have got so low marks in this subject. Owing to his good academic record, I decided to peruse his case with the Federal Board. I approached the chairman, Commodore Shamshad, who advised me to deposit required fee and apply for rechecking of the paper. I was also told that the 'only' provision available in rechecking of the paper is to check if the totalling has been done right and no answer has been missed out while marking. He also said that under no circumstances the originally given marks could be altered. My son was also not permitted to see the paper to verify if it had not been changed with someone else's paper. As a result I was told that the marking of the paper was found good.

Now after reading the judgment of the Islamabad High Court decision in the Farah Dogar case, I assume that the increase in her marks has been found good as per the laws of the Federal Board. I, therefore, request the chairman of the Federal Board to clarify if the board authorities lied to me in 2004 or there are some more equals under the equally applicable laws of the Federal Board. -Munzar Ata

'Farah case verdict black chapter of judicial history'
Lahore: The PML-N leadership has termed Islamabad High Court verdict on Farah Dogar's case another black chapter in judicial history.

The PML-N leadership criticised the IHC decision, saying it anticipated such a verdict. It said the verdict could not mould public opinion as people could discriminate between right and wrong.

PML-N Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal termed the decision a black chapter in the judicial history. He said the decision had strengthened PML-N stance on PCO judges that these judges lacked the courage to give decisions against the wishes of those in the power corridors. He said the decision was not surprising because they knew the PCO judges would decide the case in favour of Farah Dogar.

Commenting on Mian Nawaz Sharif's eligibility case, he said Nawaz Sharif was least concerned and bothered about the expected judgment because he had referred his case to the 'court of people'.

PML-N Vice President Zafar Ali Shah was of the opinion that the IHC decision had provided relief to Farah Dogar but people would not approve this judgment. He said the court judgments could not change the decisions of people who would not forget the reality. He said that IHC decision might be taken up in the Superior Court but it would do no good. He said the PPP might have gained through courts decision but it would be very difficult for it for face the public.

PML-N Secretary General Zafar Iqbal Jhagra said they were not expecting a surprise from the PCO judges.

He said the judgment had approved their stance on PCO judges that they did not have any independent opinion. Azmat Khokhar, Central Finance Secretary PML-N Labour Wing, said the IHC decision would infuse a new spirit among lawyers movement who were struggling against PCO judges. The News


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