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National

January 13, 2018

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Supply of food to tribal agencies’ prisoners: PHC summons Fata officials for not paying contractors

Supply of food to tribal agencies’ prisoners: PHC summons Fata officials for not paying contractors

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has summoned Fata Secretariat officials for framing charges in a contempt of court case after they failed to comply with the court order about payment of dietary charges to contractors for supply of food to the tribal agencies’ prisoners.

Those summoned included Fata additional chief secretary and secretaries for law and order, finance and Fata deputy secretary. A two-member bench comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth and Justice Musarrat Hilali directed the officials of Fata Secretariat and political agents of Bajaur, Kurram and Khyber agencies to appear in person on February 7 as to why not contempt of court proceedings be initiated against them for not complying with the court order.

The bench was hearing the contempt of court petition filed by four contractors Anwar Hussain, Tahir Hussain, Dildar Hussain and Nisar Ahmed through their lawyer Arshad Ali Nowshervi. The contractors sought contempt of court proceedings against the officials for not complying with the court order on payment of millions of rupees liabilities outstanding since years.

During the hearing, the lawyer submitted that the contractors were given contracts of supply of dietary food to prisoners in the lockups of the tribal agencies. He said that Anwar Hussain had supplied food to various lockups of Bajaur Agency. The political administration owed him Rs20 million since 2011, which was not paid.

Similarly, he said, political administration of Kurram Agency has to pay Rs110 million to two contractors, Tahir Hussain and Dildar Hussain. The political administration of Khyber Agency owed Rs 2.5 million to contractor Nisar Ahmad, he added. The lawyer said the high court had last year directed the officials of Fata Secretariat to pay the dietary charges but to no avail, which forced the contractors to file the contempt of court petition.

The bench turned down the request by legal advisor to the Fata Secretariat for giving them more time. He informed the bench that the Fata Secretariat had sent a summary to Ministry of Safron for payment of the liabilities.

However, a letter was also produced in the court issued by deputy financial advisor Safron, Muzaffar Ali Bukhari. The ministry stated that the subject liability Rs201.820 million on account of dietary charges had been pending on the part of Fata Secretariat since 2012-13; therefore, Fata Secretariat may clarify as to why this pending liability had not been cleared even after four financial years.

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