Dawn News

Ex-CDA chief’s plea dismissed

ISLAMABAD, Oct 4: Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday dismissed the petition of former chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) against his removal and appointment of Syed Tahir Shahbaz in his place.

The court observed that Engineer Farkhand Iqbal, an officer of grade 21 of the planning and development division, was posted to the CDA in December last year but the notification for his appointment did not mention any specific period for his stay in the civic body.

The court order said: “Since the transfer and posting of the government officers is a routine matter and it did not affect any interest of Mr Farkhand Iqbal; therefore, his petition is not maintainable.” During the hearing, Justice Kasi remarked that even judges also obeyed their transfer orders.

“This was the good luck of Mr Iqbal that the government did not level any allegation against him and he was silently posted to his parent department,” he said. The judge added: “The media have raised several allegations against him and had he taken these reports seriously, he would not have approached the court.”

Justice Khan observed that “the competent authority also transferred at least four CDA members on October 1, the day when CDA chairman was repatriated to the planning division, but none of the four members challenged their transfer orders.”

Referring to the arguments of the counsel for the former CDA chairman that the removal of Farkhand Iqbal was made in violation of subsection 3 of section 6 of CDA ordinance 1960 according to which the chairman could only be removed on the charges of  negligence or after completing his five-year tenure, the court pointed out that the said section also empowered the competent authority to remove the chairman.

During the hearing, Shoaib Shaheen, the counsel for Mr Iqbal, said the notification for the repatriation of his client was issued in haste and after office timing.

“Mr Iqbal was removed from his position because after the orders of IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, he had refused to entertain the orders of political figures and was working strictly in accordance with the law,” said advocate Shaheen.

But the court reminded him that constitutionally the CDA chairman was duty bound to act in this manner and he should not need any directions to perform his own responsibilities.

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