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PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Friday suspended three senior officers of the sports department, including its secretary, in light of an initial inquiry into the transfer of the provincial sports minister’s Rs1.8 million discretionary funds into his personal account.

The chief minister took the step after appearance of a news item in Dawn on Tuesday.

The inquiry officer has given a clean chit to minister, insisting prima facie Mehmood Khan has no role in the matter.

The chief minister issued the order on the advice of the chief secretary and issued suspension orders in respect of provincial sports secretary Ahmad Hassan, director general (sports) Tariq Mehmood, and drawing and disbursement officer at the directorate of sports Mohammad Tariq with immediate effect to be followed by disciplinary proceedings under the Efficiency and Disciplinary Rules against the defaulting officers.

According to an official handout, the inquiry officer in the case was senior government official Dr Hammad Awais Agha (BS-21).

After going through the record and statements of all concerned including minister Mehmood Khan, the inquiry officer declared in a report that the case for transfer of the amount into the minister’s personal account was processed on file by the sports secretary, director general (sports) and DDO at the directorate of sports in violation of almost over 20 rules mentioned in the General Financial Rules, Rules of Business and the Combined Treasury Rules.

The inquiry report pointed out that prima facie the minister had no role in the matter as handling of financial matters falls within the ambit of the principal accounts officer and his immediate supporting subordinate staff.

The inquiry also pointed out that a BS-17 officer was working on a position of DG (sports), a BS-19 position, which was a contributing factor to the whole sordid affairs.

A senior government official, who did not want to be named, said the inquiry had raised several questions like when the minister was innocent in the case, then what benefit the officers had drawn by transferring money into his personal account and that how the officials could issue cheques in the name of the minister when he had not asked them to do so. — Bureau Report