Court suspends charge sheet against senior KP assembly official

Updated May 22, 2019

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Seeks speaker’s reply on petition of senior additional secretary. — APP/File
Seeks speaker’s reply on petition of senior additional secretary. — APP/File

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday suspended a charge sheet issued by the speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly against a senior additional secretary over appointment allegedly against merit and rules around 27 years ago.

A bench consisting of Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Mussarat Hillai sought the reply of KP Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ghani on a petition of senior additional secretary Kifayatullah Khan Afridi, who alleged that the speaker had issued the charge sheet to frustrate a judgment of Services Tribunal delivered in his favour last year.

The bench fixed June 11 for the next hearing into the petition.

Seeks speaker’s reply on petition of senior additional secretary

Ali Azim Afridi, lawyer for the petitioner, said the assembly speaker issued the charge sheet on May 16 and suspended the petitioner on Monday.

He highlighted the legal issues pertaining to the appointment of a junior officer as the assembly secretary contrary to different court orders.

Accepting an appeal of the petitioner on Dec 10, the KP Services Tribunal had declared illegal the Aug 11, 2017, decision of the Departmental Promotion Committee and the Aug 15, 2017, notification by the then assembly speaker and current National Assembly speaker, Asad Qaiser, for the promotion of an officer junior to petitioner, Nasrullah Khan, as the secretary.

During the pendency of that appeal in Sept 2018, the DPC had again recommended the promotion of Mr Nasrullah prompting the issuance of a notification by the current assembly speaker, Mushtaq Ghani, on Sept 25, 2018. The tribunal also declared the DPC’s decision illegal.

The lawyer said the speaker instead of implementing the judgment of the Services Tribunal had issued the charge sheet to ensure that the law governing the state of Pakistan was transgressed and trampled forcing civil servants to bow before the political bigwigs.

He said the speaker was allowing his personal interest to influence his official conduct and decisions without having any regard to law governing the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

The lawyer said in the petitioner’s case before the services tribunal, the tribunal had observed that the appellant (petitioner) had become a victim of favouritism, nepotism and unholy alliance of the DPC to accommodate their blue-eyed people by hook or by crook.

He said public functionaries had to reinforce good governance, observe rules strictly, and adhere to the rule of law in public service.

In the charge sheet, the speaker had mentioned that he (Kifayatullah) appeared to be guilty of misconduct under Efficiency and Disciplinary Rules, 2011 and rendered himself liable to all or any of the penalties specified therein.

He alleged that Kifayatullah had submitted the application for appointment on Nov 22, 1992, and was appointed to the office the very next day.

The speaker also said a medical board was formed to examine the health fitness of Kifayatullah on Dec 30, 1992, over a month after his appointment and that he had defaulted on a loan issued by the ADBP’s Kohat branch at the time of his appointment.

He alleged that Kifayatullah had obtained the LLB degree during service as the assistant secretary without securing the mandatory study leave.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2019