PESHAWAR: Various irregularities including illegal appointments, appointing junior officers to important posts and assigning teachers responsibilities as administrative heads of departments have been detected at Gomal University in Dera Ismail Khan.
The vice-chancellor has stopped an investigation committee, formed on the orders of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor, from its work. However, the committee has submitted its report.
The administration has also failed to recover around Rs 49.3 million [Rs 49,298,369] from those responsible for misappropriation of funds in development projects of the university. Syndicate member Prof Dr Noor Abbas Deen has written a letter to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor, also the chancellor of the university, about the irregularities.
Talking to this correspondent, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Sarwar confirmed that some officials and teachers had to given some temporary and additional responsibilities due to a ban on new appointments, and no illegality was involved in this act. He said now the government has lifted the ban on new recruitment, and the additional responsibilities would be withdrawn from these officials after new appointments.
He said the old inquiry committee did not submit its report for nine months, and that was why a new investigation committee had to be constituted. He said a letter had also been written to the deputy commissioner for recovery of misappropriated amount from those responsible for corruption in mega project.
According to details, the KP governor had received complaints about irregularities at Gomal University and illegal appointments. On March 13, 2017, the Governor’s Secretariat wrote a letter (SO(III)6(4)6/GS/10/875-77) to the VC and ordered for an inquiry into the allegations.
Acting on the orders, the university administration constituted an inquiry committee through an order 2381-90/GU/Estt on April 13, 2017 with Prof Dr Azim Khan Khattak as the committee head. Other members of the committee were Dean Faculty of Sciences Prof Dr Noor Abbas Din, Provost and Assistant Prof Engineer Iqbal Zeb Khattak, Director Works Engineer Muhammad Irfan and Additional Registrar Establishment Pervez Saleem Khan.
The inquiry committee found various appointments illegal and against the varsity statutes and the Universities Act 2016. These included those of Director Administration Dil Nawaz Khan as Registrar, Computer Programmer Riaz Ahmad Bhittani as Deputy Registrar (Establishment), Assistant Librarian Feroze Khan as Deputy Registrar (Establishment), Computer Programmer Muhammad Ali Abid as Assistant Registrar (Recruitment Cell), Assistant Software Engineer Zahir Shah as Assistant Registrar (General) and of Staff Welfare Officer Wasim Khan Kati Khel as In-charge (Legal Cell).
According to the report available with The News, registrar is an administrative post for which the procedure is laid down in the university’s statutes and, therefore, the appointment of Dil Nawaz is incorrect. He was also appointed as director for a mega development project in 2009 despite the fact that the position required a person having an engineering degree. Moreover, irregularities had also surfaced in the said project.
According to the project’s advance audit para 182, Dil Nawaz spent Rs 41,000 illegally, while para 183 mentions complaints about unlawful expenditure of Rs 49.3 million. The Higher Education Commission’s monitoring team said use of substandard material caused a loss of Rs 8.5 million, 3,500-foot long wall collapsed due to substandard material leading to further loss of Rs 10 million, while more irregularities involving Rs 1 million had also surfaced. Later, the Syndicate approved recovery from the consultant.
The report says the appointment of technical staff – Riaz Bhittani, Muhammad Ali Abid, Feroze and Mir Wali – is also illegal. The appointment of technical staff on other posts also ensured that computerisation of examination, finance, library, hostel, administration and other departments could not be executed. Meanwhile, the library was handed over to a clerk after transferring the librarian.
On the other hand, Zahir is posted as Assistant Director (Admin), a post which is not vacant, and on which Tariq Mehmood is already working. Similarly, Kati Khel, who is appointed as In-charge (Legal Cell) was neither selected for Grade-17 nor the Syndicate had approved it. But the Peshawar High Court gave verdict in his favour due to the negligence of the varsity which would now move the Supreme Court.
The report also says that the registrar made all the appointments according to his likings and these were not approved by the Syndicate or the Selection Board, which is mandatory under the Section 2-A (ii) of the Gomal University Act, while the directives of the Governor’s Secretariat and the chief minister were also ignored.
On August 29, 2017, the CM Secretariat through a letter SO-1/CMS/KPK/3-1/2017 had directed the VC that all the inductions, appointments and transfers should be made according to the rules, but it didn’t happen. And the VC even stopped the committee from working despite the fact that it prepared a report.
The Gomal University administration on February 20 via letter 1385/GU/Estt stopped investigation team head Prof Dr Azeem Khattak from probe and also seized all the related documents.
Meanwhile, Syndicate Member Prof Dr Noor sent a letter to the governor and the Higher Education Department on January 29, 2018, saying VC Prof Dr Muhammad Sarwar, against the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities (Amended) Act 2016 and ignoring the Higher Education Department’s directives, posted teaching staff on administrative posts. Therefore, the governor should immediately order an inquiry into the matter, he added.
According to the application, Institute of Political Science and Public Administration’s Prof Dr Shadiullah was appointed at a Grade-20 post of Director Graduate Studies/ Director Admin, although the post of Director Graduate Studies does not exist in the budget.
Similarly, GCBB’s Grade-19 Assistant Prof Dr Irum was appointed as Director QEC, Prof Dr Najeebullah of Institute of Political Science and Public Administration as Director ORIC in Grade-20, Grade-19 Assistant Prof Sadaf Javeria of Faculty of Agriculture as Deputy Director ORIC in Grade-18, Grade-19 Assistant Prof Tafakur of Institute of Business Administration as Deputy Director OIRC in Grade-18, Prof Dr Salahuddin of Department of Sports Sciences and Physical Education as Provost in Grade-20, and Grade-18 Lecturer Sohaib Ganguya as Additional Director Admin in Grade-19 despite the fact that no such post exists in the varsity.
The application sent of Dr Noor says 14 people were inducted by the university on January 9, 2018 but there was no mention of their pay scale and designation in the appointment letters.
Advertisements were published in different newspapers for teachers in English, Urdu, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies departments with a monthly pay of Rs 35,000.
Later, following appointments were made on contract for six months with a monthly pay of Rs 30,000: Azeem Khan s/o Sher Khan Department of English University Wensam College, Sohail Khan s/o Mir Khobaz Khan Department of Urdu University Wensam College, Sidra Sehar d/o M Ayub Department of Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, Taskeen Ambar d/o Ghulam Qambar Khan Department of Biology University Wensam College, Abida Sultana d/o Malik Shahjahan Department of Pakistan Studies University Wensam College, Bilal Khan s/o Noorullah Khan Department of Biology Faculty of Agriculture, Sehrish Bashir d/o Bashirullah Khan Department of Chemistry University Wensam College, Asif Ishaq s/o Ghulam Ishaq Department of Physics, Shafaq Riaz d/o Riaz Qureshi Department of Physics University Wensam College, Bushra Gul d/o Liaquat Ali Department of Islamiyat University Wensam College, Barkatullah Khan s/o Mehmood Jahan Department of Islamiyat, Maria Hassan d/o M Hassan Department of Islamiyat, Saima Nausheen d/o Zulfiqar Department of Islamiyat and Rabia Mehdi d/o Syed Aks Mehdi Department of Mathematics.
However, there is no provision for these posts in the budget and all of these appointments were illegal.
When contacted, VC Dr Sarwar said an inquiry committee was formed on the directives issued by the Governor’s Secretariat, which was unable to reach to any conclusion even after nine months. The committee was abolished and a new one established after it failed to provide the investigation report despite repeated reminders, he said.
About the appointment of faculty members and junior officials on administrative posts, the VC said they had to give responsibilities to them on temporary basis as several positions were vacant due to the ban on new appointments since 2015. The government, he added, had allowed new appointments for controller, registrar, provost, director finance, director planning, director OIRC and director quality control, and additional responsibilities would be withdrawn from all persons as soon as the induction was completed.
He said corrections had been made about the designations but the teachers in University Wensam College had been inducted with a fixed salary.
Regarding corruption in mega development project, he said services of Allied Engineering Consultant Limited had been acquired for the purpose, but the varsity syndicate in 95th meeting on August 29 last year decided after receiving complaints about irregularities that money from the consultant would be recovered through the deputy commissioner.
Later, the deputy commissioner had been requested through a letter 7026-32/GU/Estt dated November 15, 2017 to recover an amount of Rs 49,298,269, which was repeated via another letter 1933-39/GU/Estt dated March 18, 2018, he added.
The VC promised that the varsity staff involved in irregularities would not get any pardon and the officials were to be grilled after a probe against the consultant.
Meanwhile, Registrar Dil Nawaz told The News that he could not comment as no inquiry report was submitted before the administration and the committee too had been dissolved. He, however, he termed the allegations levelled against him as baseless and said all the appointments had been made according to the varsity statutes.