PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC)on Wednesdaysought reply from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in a writ petition that sought removal of the acting Director General Ehtesab Commission from the post.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Ghazanfar Khan issued the notice to the provincial government and Director General (DG) Ehtesab Commission to submit replies before the next hearing in the case.
Aman Shah, a resident of Mardan, through a Quo Warranto writ petition, has challenged the further extension in service to Brigadier (R) Muhammad Sajjad and the decision to allow him to work as acting DG KP Ehtesab Commission. His lawyer Habibullah Mohmand is representing him in the case.
During hearing, counsel for the petitioner submitted that the respondent DG Ehtesab Commission was currently occupying two offices as director human resource and also as acting DG.
He submitted that as per the KP Ehtesab Act, the post of DG Ehtesab Commission was a permanent post. Under the law, the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner could issue direction for the appointment of acting DG till the appointment of permanent DG. However, the lawyer said the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner had sent a letter to acting DG Ehtesab Commission asking him under what law he had been using the powers of the DG. He argued that the Law Department had also issued a letter to Establishment Department in which it was stated that the DG Ehtesab Commission is a permanent post and for acting DG the consent of Chief Ehtesab Commissioner is must, but in this case the latter is questioning the acting DG that under what law he was assuming the power of DG as it is against the law.
The lawyer submitted that the acting DG had illegally occupied the post for one and a half year. The petition stated that Brig (R) Sajjad was first appointed on March 16, 2015 as director human resource on contract basis for a period of two years. It noted that his contract was extended from time to time till March 2017. It said his contract was extended on November 22, 2016 till June 31, 2017 through an illegal way by the subordinate staff of the Ehtesab Commission. The petitioner submitted that the commissioners of Ehtesab Commission have the powers only under the KPEC Act to extend the period of service of the DG and director, while in this case the extension was given through an illegal way. On the other hand, the PHC has started the process for the appointment of DG Ehtesab Commission after assuming the powers conferred to it by the provincial government. The government had authorized the PCH to select DG Ehtesab Commission as well as its Prosecutor General and director Internal Monitoring and Public Complaints Wing.
However, more than three months have passed since the PHC started the process for the appointment of DG KP Ehtesab Commission, but has yet to complete this task.
The provincial government also empowered the PHC to recommend action against the officers found involved in corruption and corrupt practices.