PESHAWAR: The top officials of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department have been violating the Peshawar High Court (PHC) directives on payment of salaries to social organisers of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) programme, The News has learnt.
On July 5, a PHC division bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Khalid Mehmood had directed the secretary health, provincial coordinator of the national MNCH programme and director general health to ensure payment to 23 social organisers who have been deprived of their salaries for the past 16 months.
Besides, the bench through a stay order had also restored the services of the social organisers terminated by the department. The 19 social organisers including Irfan Jamal, Mustafa Mehmood Saeed and Hameedullah Turabi had filed the writ petition in the high court through their lawyer Syed Attique Shah against their termination by the Health Department and suspension of their salaries.
Hameedullah Turabi told The News that provincial Health Minister Syed Zahir Ali Shah had directed the department not to implement the high court orders regarding restoration of their services and release of salaries. “We have decided to file contempt of court petition against the respondent health officials and the provincial health minister,” he said.
The high court had restored the services of the petitioners till its next order and had ordered the provincial government to produce a letter titled SO (1MP-1) IPCD/3-38/2012/KC-47 through which the Inter-Provincial Coordination Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa extended the life of the MNCH project up to 2015.
The petitioners claimed that the MNCH provincial coordination department advertised the posts of social organisers for 23 districts of the province. After test and interviews, they claimed, the respondents issued them appointment letters for a period of one year and then on September 18, 2009 they were given two-year extension.
Surprisingly, they said, the respondents issued them termination order on March 11, 2011 with effect from April 10, 2011. The petitioners rebutted the claim of the respondents that they had no money to pay salaries to them and that was whey they were sacked.
During the course of hearing, the petitioners’ counsel submitted that the high ranking officers of the MNCH programme had obtained luxury cars and work in air-conditioned offices, but poor employees were being victimised. He submitted that if the respondents acted fairly, then the senior most officers should be terminated first following by those in lower grades.