PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Thursday conditionally terminated the services of Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (Pedo) chief Akbar Ayub Khan saying the termination is subject to the Supreme Court’s decision on his appeal.

A notification issued by the KP energy and power department said the after the June 7, 2017, judgment of the Peshawar High Court, the services of Pedo chief executive officer Akbar Ayub Khan were terminated subject to the interim order or final judgment of the apex court.

It added that the competent authority had assigned the additional charge of the Pedo CEO to the energy and power secretary with immediate effect until further orders.

A relevant official told Dawn that after disqualification, Mr Ayub was given 60 days on June 16 by the Peshawar High Court to continue as the Pedo chief for the filing of the civil petition for leave to appeal (CPLA) with the Supreme Court.

Says termination subject to SC decision on Akbar Ayub’s appeal

He said soon after the CPLA was filed, the relief granted to Mr Ayub was automatically withdrawn and therefore, the government had to de-notify him as the Pedo chief.

Earlier on Saturday, the KP government had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the high court’s decision to disqualify Mr Ayub.

Pedo accountant Fazal Rahim had challenged Mr Ayub’s appointment with the high court saying he didn’t have the required qualification and that his appointment was made in violation of merit.

He insisted that Mr Ayub’s appointment went against the Pedo Act 1933, which stated that the organisation’s head should have the experience of energy and power sector, but Mr Ayub had a finance background and was appointed for being supported by senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Asad Umar, a member of the KP Energy Apex Committee.

On June 7, the high court had declared Mr Ayub’s appointment illegal ruling that the process of appointment of the Pedo CEO was a violation of merit and that he even should not have been shortlisted for the post.

However, the provincial cabinet in its meeting on August 17 approved an ordinance to amend the Pedo Act, 1993, to give legal cover to the appointment of Mr Ayub.

The energy and power department, which has the administrative control of the Pedo, shared the draft ordinance with the law department on June 15, hardly a week after Mr Ayub’s disqualification by the court.

However, the law department, in its reply on the same day, asked the energy department to ensure that the amendment is not in violation of the high court’s order against Mr Ayub.

The cabinet approved the proposed amendments to Section 5(1) of the Pedo Act 1993.

“The government shall appoint CEO of the organisation from amongst the person of known integrity and competence, with minimum of 12 years of experience in the field of law, business, engineering, finance, accounts, economics, or power industry on such terms and conditions as the government may determine,” it read.

The same clause had led to the disqualification of Mr Ayub for lacking experience of energy and power sector.

A law department official told Dawn that the energy department was eager to add the retrospective effect to the ordinance but the law department managed to get it deleted.

He said the ordinance had yet to be signed by the KP governor and that it would be promulgated once that happened.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2017

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