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Students lash out against SM Law College principal

KARACHI, May 5(Daily Times): SM Law College has been transformed into a home affair by the Principal of the college, Prof. Kursheed A Hashmi, as four out of five of his family members are associated with the college, three as teachers and a fourth as a student.

This was alleged Friday by members of the joint students action committee at a press conference. The committee comprises three student groups - Sindh Law Students Welfare Society, Islami Jamiat-e-Tulaba and the Punjabi Students Association. The students leveled a number of serious allegations.

President of the Sindhi students group, Ghulam Rasool Korai, alleged that according to the laws of the college, the principal was permitted to deliver only two lectures in a week but Hashmi delivered six lectures. "He is paid Rs 3,000 per lecture, thus earning a minimum of Rs 72,000 besides his salary as the principal," he claimed.

Korai said that against all existing rules, SM Law College had dual registration, one with the University of Karachi for its normal degree programme and another with the University of London for its external programme and three million rupees were paid from college funds as registration fees. "Only two students, his daughter and one of his friends' daughters, are listed as students of the foreign university," the protesting students claimed. They stated that the only son of the principal was teaching at the college in violation of the rules, which stated that only a barrister or an advocate enrolled as an advocate of the High Court was eligible to teach at the college.

The students complained that they decided to resort to peaceful agitation as the college was closed four to five days a month without any prior announcements. This is unfair as many students, some of who live as far away as 45 kilometers, reach college only to learn that it is closed.

A number of allegations regarding the misuse of college funds, authority and corruption were leveled by the students who demanded a high-level investigation or inquiry by a senior lawyer of the High Court. They alleged that the college administration was charging Rs 100 each from 2,500 students totaling Rs 250,000 and was charging an extra Rs 50 under the head of examination fees, totaling to Rs 200,000.

Referring to the arrest and release of four of their fellow students, they said that the students had been invited for talks but when they reached the college, private armed security guards and the police were let loose on them. They expressed gratitude to the Karachi Bar Association for securing their release.

KBA bails out law students
Judicial Magistrate (IV) South, on Friday, ordered the release of four students of the SM Law College on his personal guarantee. The KBA provided legal assistance and detailed its members on securing bail for the arrested students. The students, Ghulam Ali, Mustafa Bilal, Zafrain alias Zulfi and Farrukh, were booked by the Arambagh Police Station on charges of disrupting the law and order situation and arson. A delegation, representing students of the SM Law College, later met with the SHCBA's honorary secretary and informed him of the reasons for their protest. The students have been protesting since Monday, alleging that the college administration, on instructions from the principal, was collecting an extra amount that exceeded the fee fixed by the University of Karachi.

Your Comments

"Reading this news report, I wonder what Quaid-e-Azam would have done if he was one of the students of this College today. Do you think he would is reported here, certainly not... They can agitate for the socalled unlawful fee why not for having classes regularly. It is unfortunate to observe the conduct of students who should have Quaid-e-Azam as a model lawyer. Today, the Pakistan we have today is in no way what Quaid-e-Azam envisioned. I pray for all the students, specially law students, to follow the path of founder of this country. Ameen. "
Name: Altaf Noor Ali
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan

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