ISLAMABAD: The Petroleum Division on Wednesday removed from service two officers of Grade-17 and Grade-18 after holding them responsible for illegal and fake inspection reports leading to award of various licences to a number of oil companies.
The major penalty was awarded to the two officers of the department of explosives following investigation reports into the June 2020 oil crisis. The Petroleum Division issued two notifications regarding imposition of the major penalty of dismissal from service to Mubeen Ahmed, BS-18, and Raj Kumar, BS-17, on charges of misconduct. The officers have the right to challenge the decision before the appellate authority within 30 days.
The officers were removed after completing procedures like charge-sheet, statement of allegations, personal hearing, etc, under the Efficiency and Discipline Rules, 1977. The two officers have denied the charges levelled against them, but Petroleum Secretary Asad Hayauddin claimed that they could not satisfactorily prove their innocence during the personal hearing.
Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar had last month announced removal of the petroleum secretary from the post on the directives of the prime minister who had also asked SAPM Nadeem Babar to step down to allow independent inquiry and proceedings. The government has not issued any notification about the removal or replacement of the petroleum secretary, though Mr Babar had tendered his resignation the same day.
Mubeen Ahmed was accused of issuing four licences under Form L of petroleum rules by relaxing mandatory safety distances to Puri and Attock Petroleum’s terminal at Port Qasim, besides issuing similar licences of generalised categories to Burshane Petroleum, Abbas Sugar Mills and Al-Rahim Tank.
Raj Kumar was proceeded against for issuing a licence to Fauji Trans Terminal Limited by misreporting the actual safety distances on the site and also for carrying out inspections and misstating facts in respect of licences to Engro Tharcoala and Al-Noor Oil Terminal.
The petroleum secretary noted that the nature of violations committed by Mubeen Ahmed and Raj Kumar and acts of abuse of the office led to the conclusion that they were unfit for any role in the public service as it had been established that they acted against the public interest.
“The gravity of the misconduct suggests that Mubeen Ahmed and Raj Kumar are not entitled to any leniency as their negligent, reckless and illegal acts could have devastating consequences for the residents of Karachi. Such callous attitude cannot be allowed to go unchecked and unpunished. Hence, the compulsory retirement does not commensurate with the misconduct committed by the two officers and, therefore, they are dismissed from service,” the notifications said.
Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2021