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February 7, 2020

From BS-6 to 19: Meteoric rise of a daily wager

Lahore

February 7, 2020

LAHORE:A unique case of departmental promotions from lowest grade to highest without improving educational requirements has shocked the corridors of Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) and Civil Secretariat, Punjab.

The case, as per sources, has become talk of the town and at least it was discussed once in almost every government office during the past one month. The case pertained to a gardener who joined PHA in grade 6 and presently he is enjoying the seat of a Director in BS-19 in the authority.

Documents available with The News revealed that Muhammad Javed Hamid, s/o Muhammad Yousaf, a resident of Nawan Kot, Lahore, was appointed in LDA on December 20, 1989 as a Supervisor (Horticulture) on work charge basis allegedly on the recommendation of a religious personality known to a very important ruling figure of that time. The initial appointment order of Muhammad Javed Hamid reads as, “You are hereby appointed as Supervisor (Horticulture) on work charged basis for a period of 89 days w.e.f 20-12-88 to 18-03-1989.”

On March 22, 1989, by the orders of then chief minister, he was appointed as Field Supervisor in BS-6 purely on temporary basis, documents revealed adding that in 1993, he along with two other field supervisors Muhammad Javed Hamid was granted selection grade and he went into grade BS-09.

The documents showed that just after six months of getting selection grade, LDA issued a retrospective order confirming him in selection grade BS-09 w.e.f 23-03-91 instead of 31-05-1993, when he was actually promoted.

Interestingly, as per LDA’s appointment and conditions of services regulations 1978, the basic qualification for the job of Field Supervisor is matriculation with Field Assistant’s Course. Sources in PHA said that this is a two-year diploma offered by University of Agriculture, Faisalabad only. This course is done after having a matriculation degree in science.

Whereas, Muhammad Javed Hamid was appointed as Field Supervisor on a diploma of Floriculture and Landscaping, which was a one-year diploma course offered by Floriculture and Landscaping training Center, Lahore. After being promoted to BS-09, Javed Hamid leaped to grade BS-16 vide office order (LDA/ADMN/1155) dated September 30, 1996, which stated that LDA DG was pleased to upgrade the post of Muhammad Javed Hamid, supervisor BS-09) to BS-16 with immediate effect.

On September 19, 2006, he was again promoted to the seat of Assistant Director Horticulture (BS-17) following the recommendations of DPC. Another Field Supervisor Muhammad Boota was also promoted vide the same order.

It is worth-mentioning that anyone from horticulture assistants with at least 10 years service as horticulture assistant can be promoted to the post of Assistant Director Horticulture in BS-17 and the basic qualification for Horticulture Assistant is BSc Agriculture with Horticulture as special subject.

On November 30, 2011, Muhammad Javed was promoted to the slot of Deputy Director Horticulture BS-18 on the recommendation of DPC while on May 12, 2017, he was promoted as Director Horticulture (BS-19) against a vacant post on acting charge basis. This order further stated that he would stand automatically promoted as Director Horticulture (BS-19) on regular basis on completion of requisite length of service as laid down in PHA service rules. The documents revealed that in 2017, a special audit report also highlighted the case of Javed Hamid. Minutes of meeting revealed that PHA replied to the audit objection that his promotion was made as per LDA rules. However, audit informed the committee that his promotion was against rules. The committee directed the then PHA DG to probe the matter and fix responsibility against the concerned. Finally on August 03, 2019, Secretary Housing Punjab wrote a letter (SO(E-I)44-1/2018) to then PHA DG stating that the department received a complaint against irregular promotion of Javed Hamid and his personal file was examined. “The promotion of Javed Hamid from field supervisor (BS-16) to Assistant Director (BS-17) was illegal and was done by then LDA DG in 2006. The competent authority has desired to initiate a regular inquiry against Javed Hamid, Director (BS-19) under PEEDA Act,” the letter ordered.

When contacted, Javed Hamid claimed that there was no illegality in his appointment as well as in his promotions. He confirmed that he had a one year diploma in Floriculture and Landscaping instead of the required two-year diploma of Field Assistant. He said PHA was hiring people having Floriculture and Landscaping Diploma in BS-11 whereas he was recruited in BS-06 because at that time there was no post in BS-11.

Responding to another question, he said he knew the spiritual figure known to a very important ruling figure of that time. He, however, said that he was recruited on merit and no one recommended him for the post. “I am promoted through the procedure so the requirement of basic qualification of BSc Agriculture with special subject of Horticulture was not applicable in his case. He said he spent the required time needed for next promotion in every step.

He said that several complaints were filed against him in Supreme Court as well as in High Court but all were rejected and presently he has filed a case in Sessions Court against those who levelled baseless allegations against him. He claimed that he was pointing out corruption of other officers so they have ganged up against him.