ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah on Thursday suspended the notifications for upgradation, postings/transfers and allotment of government houses to ‘blue-eyed’ officials by his predecessor retired Justice Anwar Khan Kasi.

The chief justice referred the matter to the administration committee, comprising senior judges of the high court.

Mr Kasi retired as the chief justice of the IHC after attaining the age of superannuation on Nov 27. But a day before his retirement, he upgraded the post of the official mosque’s Khateeb Mohammad Shahid from BPS-10 to BPS-17.

The Supreme Court in a landmark judgment dated Sept 26, 2016, had declared over 70 appointments in the IHC as illegal, and constituted a committee to examine the appointments and out-of-turn promotions of officials.

Notifications for upgradation, postings/transfers and allotment of government houses to ‘blue-eyed’ officials referred to committee

The committee found that on May 13, 2014, the then IHC chief justice Kasi had wrongly promoted the khateeb to BPS-17. Subsequently, he was demoted to his previous pay scale in BPS-10 in which he had been appointed in 2011.

In the judgment, the SC had also declared that “upgradation is not envisaged under the Rules and is contrary to the established principles of service laws.”

Justice Minallah also suspended the allotment of official residences to two BPS-18 officials of the high court - reader Muddasir Riaz and stenographer Sanaullah. Both were allotted out-of-turn houses from the pool of the Estate Office.

Moreover, the IHC chief justice suspended the posting and transfer orders of five officials, including Mohammad Sohail, the secretary to Justice Kasi. The ex-chief justice on Nov 26 had posted him as deputy registrar administration which is considered to be one of the key positions in the IHC.

The committee constituted by the Supreme Court following its Sept 2016 verdict had also demoted Mr Sohail from BPS-20 to BPS-18.

Mr Sohail was working with Justice Kasi as a private secretary (BPS-18) since Jan 2011.

Mr Sohail was promoted to BPS-19 in 2012 and after Justice Kasi was elevated as the CJ in Feb 2013, he was given another promotion to BPS-20 the same month.

The committee set aside the notification related to the promotion and reverted him to the post of private secretary in BPS-18.

The other officials whose posting orders were suspended are: deputy registrars Umar Farooq, Mohammad Sultan, Mirza Amer Baig and Saeed Akhtar.

Rules committee

Justice Minallah also constituted the rules committee on Thursday.

The committee is headed by Justice Minallah and comprises senior puisne judge Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, registrar Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan, Babar Sattar, Hafiz Arafat Ahmed, District and Sessions Judges Wajid Ali, Kamran Basharat Mufti, Additional District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Adnan and IHC officials Asif Iqbal and Tahir Luni.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2018