Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has informed the Supreme Court that nearly 4,000 students from law colleges affiliated with Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) in Multan are suspected of being ‘non-genuine’. These students allegedly attempted to take the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) exam without attending any classes.
The FIA report states that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT), comprising officials from the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and Higher Education Commission (HEC), conducted an investigation into BZU officials and law college owners as per the court’s orders. The team scrutinized BZU’s records and identified 3,997 students as potential non-genuine candidates. An additional 2,230 students are currently under investigation.
The investigation also revealed some startling facts. Attendance records showed that some of these students were government employees in other districts, making it impossible for them to attend law college. Furthermore, the attendance sheets appeared to be fabricated, leading investigators to believe that all colleges prepared fake attendance sheets.
The initial inquiry disclosed that BZU’s registration branch shared data of 11,396 students with the Controller Examination for the LLB Part-I second annual exam of 2019. Out of these, 6,227 students were allowed to sit for the exam, while 5,169 were prohibited due to suspicions of being non-genuine. It was found that collusion within the BZU registration branch facilitated this fraudulent activity.
Following a Supreme Court order, the JIT visited law colleges, interviewed students and the BZU administration, formed a new affiliation committee, and obtained records to identify fake or ghost law colleges. Shockingly, 26 ghost colleges were identified, and their remaining students were likely non-genuine.
In a previous report, the FIA mentioned fake fee vouchers from Muhammadan Law College in Multan and Pakistan Law College in Pakpattan. The JIT collected fee receipts from all law colleges deposited with BZU for registration and examination purposes. However, only nine law colleges complied with JIT’s written notice to submit fee vouchers for students under investigation.
The JIT has recommended registering a case against responsible BZU officials and law colleges. They have also suggested improving the system of law college affiliation, student registration, fee deposition, and attendance to prevent future fraud. This massive scam has exposed serious flaws in the education system, calling for immediate rectification and stringent measures to ensure such incidents do not recur.