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PESHAWAR: Services tribunal's order violated

February 12, 2004

PESHAWAR, Feb 11: The NWFP government has replaced a social welfare and women development (SWWD) department director for violating the order of the Services Tribunal. The NWFP chief secretary issued a notification on Feb 9, through which SWWD Director Zarina Imdad was transferred as SWWD department deputy secretary.

She is replaced by a deputy secretary of the department, Prof Fakhrul Islam, who is an associate professor and is on deputation from the University of Peshawar.

The NWFP Services Tribunal on Jan 28, had admitted her appeal to full hearing and directed the provincial government to maintain status quo till next order. However, the government issued a notification whereby she was removed from the post of director and instead appointed as deputy secretary.

Advocate Ali Jamil Qazi has appeared before the tribunal on behalf of Ms Imdad and argued that she was appointed SWWD director in accordance with a previous order of the tribunal.

He told Dawn that the act of the government amounted to contempt of the court as the government had blatantly violated the court's order. He added that they would file a contempt of court petition before the court so that the government could be asked why it had violated the order.

In Oct, last year, the government had issued a notification through which Ms Imdad was replaced. Ms Imdad had challenged that notification before the Peshawar High Court on the ground that Prof Islam did not fulfil the criterion for his appointment as the director of the SWWD.

The high court had granted interim relief to Ms Imdad, whereby the government was asked not to dislodge her from the post till final disposal of the petition.

In accordance with the high court's order the provincial government issued another notification, whereby Ms Imdad was re- instated on her post and Prof Islam was appointed as deputy secretary.

In the meantime, Ms Imdad challenged the previous notification before the NWFP Services Tribunal and her writ petition before the high court was dismissed as it had become infructuous.

During the last hearing before the tribunal, Advocate Qazi contended that under the 1981 rules of the directorate of social welfare, the director should be appointed from amongst the senior most employees of the directorate. He added that if any suitable person was not available among the employees for promotion to the said post in the directorate then any suitable person from any other government department should be appointed.

Mr Qazi pointed out that the rules were framed under the Civil Servants Act and argued that Prof Islam was not an employee of the government department, therefore his appointed as director was illegal and against the law. He contended that the University of Peshawar was itself a statutory body.