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Farah Dogar case: FBISE employees to face the music

July 17, 2009

ISLAMABAD, July 16 In another move that might lead to friction if not confrontation between the parliament and the judiciary, a parliamentary committee has decided to punish some government officials for a wrong that a high court had already absolved them of.

Despite Islamabad High Court's ruling in favour of Farah Hamid Dogar, daughter of former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, justifying jacking up of her marks by the federal board, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education has decided to punish board employees who were involved in the controversial action.

An unprecedented increase of 20 marks in intermediate examination of Ms Dogar during rechecking of her answer books had made headlines early this year. The issue remained under limelight until Islamabad High Court decided in favour of Ms Dogar.

In its order, the court also directed board officials to change its rules to provide a procedure for re-evaluation of the answer books.

However, seemingly asserting its supremacy over the high court, the NA standing committee on education headed by PML (N) Ch Abid Sher Ali kept on probing the issue and directed education ministry to investigate whether rules were followed in re-awarding of marks to Ms Dogar.

Federal Secretary of education on Thursday informed the standing committee that former chairman of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education was responsible of ordering re-assessment of Ms Dogar's answer sheets that was not allowed under board rules.

On receiving the report, the committee has constituted a five member sub-committee headed by MNA Rana Afzaal Hussain to further probe into inquiry report of the education ministry and recommend punishments for board officials including its ex-chairman. Ch Abid Sher Ali chaired the meeting.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Sher Ali defied the court ruling, saying, “the committee has never accepted court decision which was made with mala-fide intent, and would go ahead with its constitutional role and ensure the culprits are punished.”

When asked once the issue had been settled in the court of law, how could NA committee recommend punishments for board employees, he contended that the committee had the right to do so.

“The decision by the Islamabad High Court was made under the influence of the then Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar, a PCO judge, hence, it does not carry any validity with me,” Mr Abid Sher Ali responded a query.

What to talk about relaxing reassessment of answer sheets rules, education ministry in its report has recommended making them more strict, Chairman NA committee said in response to another question.