The University of Sargodha has started the process of reimbursing the students of ex-private-public partnership (PPP) sub-campuses in Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin the amount to the tune of Rs 57 million in excess fees recovered by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Lahore through plea bargain with the owners of these sub-campuses.
In a special ceremony held at the Main Campus on Wednesday, Director NAB Lahore Mr Niaz Hassan and Vice Chancellor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad distributed the cheques worth Rs 3.38 million among more than 200 such students of Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) in the first phase. In total, 6,000 students will be re-imbrued the looted money that the management of these sub-campuses, which were closed down last January, had charged unlawfully over and above the approved fee structure of the university.
NAB has also recovered an additional amount of Rs.61 million from the owners of the two sub-campuses who were arrested last year and released after the plea bargain. The recovered total amount, including student reimbursements and university share, comes to Rs.118 million.
The ceremony was also attended by Mr. Tasaddaq Iqbal, Assistant Director NAB and Investigation Officer in the sub-campuses case, and Dr Ejaz Asghar Bhatti, Director Student Affairs, who acted as the University’s Focal Person during NAB investigations.
While the four owners of the two sub-campuses were eventually released after the plea bargain, the former Vice Chancellor was still under arrest, as his last appeal to the Supreme Court for bail against arrest was also rejected.
While talking to media, Director NAB Mr Niaz Hassan pointed out that the main charge in this case was cheating public at large. “The ex-VC of Sargodha University is under trial for misusing authority to establish illegal private sub-campuses, making illegal appointments, awarding tenders to his favourite bidders, and causing huge loss to public exchequer by manipulating University’s share,” he said.
He thanked the Vice Chancellor for bringing the mega scam to the surface and helping NAB in reimbursing the exploited students with the recovered money. In his address, the Vice Chancellor said that it was a historic day, as “for the first time such a large amount looted from the students was being given back to the poor students.”