Country’s first law university was set up in Sindh

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An exclusive Interview with former Justice Qazi Khalid Ali, founding Vice-Chancellor, SZABUL

Former Justice Qazi Khalid Ali while talking to daily ‘National Courier’ exclusively stated that in the 70-year history of Pakistan this is first time when Sindh has taken a lead by establishing the first law university of the country. Our struggle to make SZABUL an international university is going on and in this regard efforts are being made for establishing Partnerships with Commonwealth and International Universities. We are validating Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses from three UK Universities with student exchange programme and the impact on the tuition fee.

SZABUL23Under the Mapping, articulation and tuning exercise we are synchronising the syllabus of our university with the three universities of UK. Most of our courses such as Islamic jurisprudence are being introduced in English universities. This is three years program during which our students will study two years here and this credit would be transferred in those universities where they would study for third year. For this one year our undergraduates would pay there only 2,300 pound sterling, while for Masters Course 1,300 pound sterling would be paid in England. It may be mentioned here that for British nationals this fee is 9,000 pound sterling.
Ziauddin University is also a part of our consortium and for nursing, pharmacy courses we have taken an initiative. Its books have also been provided to English universities just like our law university syllabus. With reference to national health services also Ziauddin University’s faculty student would be benefitted as well as other all universities of the province that are members of this consortium.
Replying to various questions Qazi Khalid informed that SZABUL has been established in public sector under the Act 2012 passed by Sindh Assembly. On March 20, 2013 Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah’s recommendation Governor Ishratul Ibad had appointed me as founding Vice Chancellor of SZABUL. Up to one and a half year we worked without any funding but I personally made all the financial and material efforts. We got recognition from Pakistan Bar Council by paying fee of Rs 1.5 million from my own pocket. We faced many bureaucratic hurdles but continued the mission with full dedication for the first law university of the country. Finally by the Grace of Almighty Allah, in the budget of 2013-4 our estimated cost for annual development scheme of Rs 1145.178 million was approved. We started functioning at Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman Road, Clifton adjacent to Frere Police Station that is very prime location with 30,000 sq ft. covered area in September 2015. Our selection board and teaching and non-teaching staff is comprised of about 70 members. According to government rules and under the directions of Supreme Court we established full codal formalities and by advertising in all the regional and national newspapers the employees from grade one to sixteen were selected by Vice Chancellor and selection board. Grade 17 and above officials were finalized by selection board having sitting judges and Chief Justice of Sindh high court as members under the rules, including nominee from Sindh public service commission and many former judges. We have 1400 students in the university. We are teaching at the time five years LLB course, two years LLM and 35 students of PhD.

SZABUL3In addition to permanent faculty we have also visiting faculty with former judges of high courts and Supreme Court. All classrooms are air conditioned with a library of more than five thousand books. We have got power failure solution through standby generator. This is our city campus, while in Korangi; Ibrahim Hyderi area about 14 acre land was allotted in June 2016 by the efforts of former governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad. It was encroached land but now vacated from all the occupants. Its boundary wall is already constructed and remaining development works are on. After completion its name would be Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Campus. For the main campus Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has allocated a site in Malir Education City about 250 acre with estimated cost of Rs 3 billion. This is under process.
To another question he said with coordination of Chairman Sindh Higher Education Commission, Dr Asim Hussain and officials of Sindh government in the budget of 2016-7 Chief Minister has approved a scheme of Rs 94 million cleared from DDWP and P&D. About fifty percent of this amount is already released by the authorities. Under this project we are constructing ground plus two stories in existing building. After this our accommodation capacity would be enhanced. Our classes are held in morning with semester system, we have five year LLB course after intermediate, with fifty percent minimum marks requirement for admission. For LLM and PhD also we hold entry test. We have retired judges of high court and Supreme Court in teaching staff and proved as a good employer with quality education.
Replying to a question about the difference between law education and its implementation in practical life the retired justice said this is very sensitive matter. From day one we have introduced a concept of mock course very seriously with the permission of Chief Justice high court. We send our students to visit and study the procedures in lower courts. Gradually, it will go up to high court level. Judicial magistrates and session judges are very cooperative with us. Similarly, anti corruption courts and accountability courts are also included in this practical education.
Another question was about the following of centuries old British laws while in England it was declared obsolete. Justice Qazi disclosed; “If we go through history, the development of law was initiated after the fall of Mughal Empire and 1857 war of independence. In year 1858 the first government of India act was implemented. Under this act British government had taken over the charge from East India Company. And from that day our legislation system was started. On 1st January 1961 first Pakistan Penal Code was introduced, police act was also announced in the same year. Similarly, criminal procedure code, civil procedure code, specific relief act, and civil procedure were introduced and were based on British Common Law. All the laws before creation of Pakistan including govt of India act 1935 were adopted under Pakistan adaption act passed by our legislative assembly and all the British govt laws were imposed in this country.”
He further stated that there are many obsolete laws in practice here which are already repealed in England. They have amended those old laws in accordance with today’s requirement. But in our country this process is very slow, we made some amendments but it was not up to the mark. For example 1861 police act was converted into police order in 2002 in Pervez Musharraf regime with many reforms but later on, the action was stopped on those reforms in his era. And police was not made an independent authority under that law, while police rules of 1934 are still in practice in our country and were not amended by Musharraf govt.
To a question about the comparison of bail and custody systems in Pakistani courts Qazi Khalid informed that in England, the custody rules are entirely changed, in that country custody is considered on hourly basis. In each police station they have appointed a custody officer having qualification of law graduate. When an accused is brought there, his custody is regulated on hourly basis and after 6 hours his bail is made sure.


Former Justice Qazi Khalid Ali, a renowned jurist, a prolific author, an academician, a public servant and a legislator with over 40 years of service to the nation is currently the founding Vice-Chancellor of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Law Karachi having the unique honour of founding the country’s first ever Law University. His Academic Qualifications included: MA, LLB, and LLM from University of Karachi, and Honorary degree of PhD, from Preston University, USA.
He was enrolled as an Advocate of High Courts in May 1982, enrolled as an Advocate of Supreme Court in January 1996. Appointed as Additional Advocate in the Advocate General of Sindh office where he served from March 2003 till November 2007. He resumed his Law Practice from Karachi as well along with delivering legal education. He has to his credit, more than 80 reported Judgments of the High Court and Supreme Court as an Advocate and Additional Advocate General, Sindh. He was elevated as Additional Judge of High Court of Sindh on 4th Nov, 2007. He was appointed as Member of Administration Committee of the High Court, Member Development Committee and Member Judicial Officers Services Tribunal as well. Appointed as permanent Judge of Sindh High Court in March 2009 and relieved from the bench on 02.08.2009.
As Educationist, he served as Ex-office Pro Chancellor of University of Karachi, NED Engineering University Karachi, Sindh University Jamshoro, Mehran Engineering University Jamshoro, Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur, Quaid-e-Azam Engineering University Nawabshah and Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam, from March 1997 till October 1998. He was Ex-office controlling authority of Sindh Board of Technical Education from March 1997 till October 1998.
Visiting Professor S.M. Govt. Law College, Karachi from 2003 to Nov. 2007.
He was twice elected as a member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh in 1993 and 1997, and served as Minister of Education for the province of Sindh from March 1997 to October 1998. Appointed by Government of Pakistan as Special Public Prosecutor to conduct the cases before the Customs and Taxation Court, Karachi in 1988. Appointed by Government of Sindh as a Special Public Prosecutor to conduct the cases of electricity theft before the KESC Court in 1982 and also a Special Prosecutor for conducting the cases before the Special Court in respect of offences relatable to the defunct investment companies in 1990. He has been a member of Governor of Sindh’s Legal Advisory Committee since 2002.
Qazi Khalid is the author of five books titled;
*  A treatise on Relevance Admissibility and Inadmissibility of
*  Fundamentals of Social Legislation
*  Sindh Excise Manual
*  Rendezvous with Law a Judge’s Reflection
*  My Judgments

Interview by: Nasir Mahmood
Photos by: Sultan Soomro

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