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Govt corrects itself in prisons IG case

LAHORE, Jan 5: The Punjab government has corrected itself regarding the appointment of the prisons IG only after a direction by the Lahore High Court.

Mian Farooq Nazir was poised to become the Prisons IG in place of Kokab Nadeem Warraich, saying he was the senior most in the department and deserved the prime post on merit.

The government had rejected his claim when he pursued his case at the department level.

After realising the grave violation in service rules and avoiding embarrassment in a court of law, the Punjab government had appointed Mr Nazir as the prisons chief on Dec 30, 2011, only two weeks before the regular court hearing on Jan 12, 2012.

The decision to transfer Mr Warraich was taken by a three-member committee constituted by the Punjab chief secretary during court proceedings.

Mr Nazir had earlier filed a petition against Mr Warraich challenging the posting of a junior officer in violation of rules.

Earlier, on Dec 14 the Lahore High Court had asked the provincial chief secretary to decide the controversy over the appointment of the Prisons IG within the stipulated time otherwise the court would decide the matter according to law.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial issued the order after going through the written reply of the CS which submitted that he had made a three-member committee which would give its recommendations to the chief minister within two weeks.

The reply further read that the CM would decide the matter on the recommendations of the committee.

Petitioner Mian Farooq took a plea that appointment of the respondent as prisons IG, who was three years junior to him, was not sustainable being contrary to rule 10(A) and 10(B) of Punjab civil servants (appointment and conditions of services) rules 1974.

Mr Nazir said he successfully qualified 93rd national management course whereas the respondent was holding the post of prisons IG without qualifying the mandatory national management course.

The petitioner had argued before the judge that the respondent was an officer of BS-19 but the government chose to appoint him against the vacant post of BS-21 in his own pay and scale in violation of rules. He prayed that the appointment of the respondent be declared null and void and without lawful authority.