PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Thursday directed the provincial government to respond to a petition seeking orders for the cancellation of the appointment of the director-general of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Authority (KPRA) and the transfer and posting of directors by him.

During the hearing into a petition of eight KPRA assistant collectors against the DG’s appointment, a bench consisting of the Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Musarrat Hilali issued notices to the chief secretary KP and KPRA DG seeking their formal response on the matter and adjourned the hearing, whose schedule will be issued later.

Ali Gohar Durrani, lawyer for Abdul Wahab and other petitioners, insisted that the KPRA director-general was not appointed by the competent authority and therefore, the appointment was a violation of the law.

Court issues notices to chief secretary, KPRA DG on petition

Besides seeking to set aside the DG’s appointment, he also prayed the bench to order the cancellation of posting and transfer of six directors by the authority’s chief insisting he was the not competent authority to do so.

The lawyer sought orders for the provincial government to appoint the DG and directors of the authority in accordance with the law and to be appointed by the competent authority. Besides, he also requested the bench to direct the respondent to place all the external employees on post having basic pay scale equal to their pay scale in the parent department.

He prayed the court to direct the respondents to repatriate all ‘external’ employees not meeting eligibility criteria mentioned in Column 4 of Schedule-I of the KPRA Appointment, Transfer and Promotion (APT) Regulations, 2017.

Respondents in the case are the KP government, KPRA and its director-general, directors and additional collectors.

The counsel argued that under Section 3(3) of the KPRA Act, “the authority shall comprise of director general and not less than three directors to be appointed by the government in such a manner and on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed, and until so prescribed as may be determined by the government.”

He said under Section 3(6) of the directors’ rules under Section 113 of the act, the chief minister would be the appointing authority for those posts.

The counsel argued that the appointment of the director-general was made through a notification by the establishment department, which was not the competent forum for this appointment.

“The director-general not being appointed by the competent authority i.e, the provincial government within the meaning of the Mustafa Impex case is in violation of the law and disregard to the Principals of the Natural Justice,” he said.

The lawyer said the appointment of the directors by the director general were illegal and unlawful according to the rule of the Directors Rules.

He contended that the non-civil servants were posted in violation ofRule 4(b) of the Directors Rules.

The counsel pointed out that the all external employees posted have been posted one scale up to their original pay scale within their authority than that existed in their parent departments, which was illegal, unjust, against the merit and in violation of Section 9 of the APT Regulation, 2017.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2022

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