Dawn News

Outgoing chief challenges removal

ISLAMABAD, Oct 2: The outgoing chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Tuesday challenged his removal in the Islamabad High Court.

A grade 21 officer of the federal government, Farkhand Iqbal in his petition said his replacement was politically motivated.

The establishment division on October 1 issued separate notifications for the repatriation of Mr Iqbal to his parent Planning and Development Division and the appointment of Javed Iqbal Awan, a grade 22 officer of the Secretariat Group, as the CDA chairman. However, after the filing of the petition with the IHC on Monday, the government issued yet another notification making Tahir Shahbaz as head of the civic agency.

When contacted, Farkhand Iqbal did not share the contents of his petition with this reporter and even denied filing of the plea. "I would check with my lawyer and contact you after consulting him,” he said.

The petition filed through Shoaib Shaheen Advocate cited the secretaries of the establishment and cabinet divisions and his successor Mr Awan as respondents.

"My client has challenged his removal from CDA and the appointment of Javed Awan as the new CDA chief,” Mr Shaheen told Dawn. He added: “After the appointment of Mr Shahbaz, we would change one of the respondents in the petition but it would not affect our case,” he added.

Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi will take up the petition on Wednesday (today).

The petitioner claimed that during the last about seven months, he had initiated a number of mega projects like extension of 7th Avenue, transport system of international standard and uninterrupted water supply to the residents. Farkhand Iqbal was appointed CDA chairman in December 2011.

The petition alleged that the appointment of Mr Awan was illegal, unlawful and based on political consideration.

The petition said the former prime minister had constituted a task force for political interference in the affairs of the CDA but IHC’s Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui suspended the order and directed that the civic agency should work in a transparent manner without any political interference.

The petition said Mr Iqbal had fully cooperated with the court and tried to run the authority without any outside interference. But this annoyed many politicians.

Mr Iqbal requested the court to set aside the notification of October 1 in order to restore him on the post.

When contacted, Shafqat Jalil, the press secretary to the prime minister, said it was a decision of the executive authority. If Mr Iqbal has approached the court, we should wait for the outcome of the petition. He added: “Let the court decide the fate of the petition and I cannot comment on this matter.”

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