Tuesday May 24, 2022

GDA chief appointment: PHC issues notice in contempt petition

January 28, 2022

ABBOTTABAD: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) Circuit Bench in Abbottabad has admitted contempt of court petition filed by a resident against the appointment of Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) director-general and issued a notice to the authority chief to appear in person before the court on February 01.

The petition was filed by Sardar Muhammad Ramzan, through Touqir Ahmad Advocate. KP Chief Secretary Shehzad Bangash, secretary Establishment Retired Flight Lieutenant Iftikhar Ali Saho, chairman, GDA board, Ihsan Mani, and Director-General GDA Raza Ali Habib have been made parties to the petition. The petitioner prayed the court to implement the judgment of the PHC Abbottabad Circuit Bench dated 02/11/2021.

The PHC bench consisting of Justice Ibrahim Khan and Justice Shakil Ahmed had declared in the judgement the appointment of the GDA director-general as illegal, without lawful authority and of no legal effect, terming it a violation of section 10 GDA (Amendment) Act 2020.

The court in its judgment had stated that the respondent as an officer in BPS-18 in the Pakistan Railways was posted as director (Admn) of the GDA in his own pay scale on a deputation basis. He was given additional charge of the post of the GDA director-general.

Realizing the mistake, the petitioner being an officer of BS-18 cannot be posted as DG of the GDA Abbottabad, vide a notification dated 28.08.2021, he was appointed acting charge basis in BS-19 with effect from first of April 2021.

The procedure required that a person who is transferred and appointed on deputation must be a government servant and such transfer should be made through the process of selection. The borrowing department has to establish exigency in the first place and then the person who is being transferred/ placed/lodged on deputation must have matching qualifications, expertise in the field with the required experience. In the absence of these conditions, the government cannot appoint anyone by transfer on deputation. “It is pertinent to mention here that the deputationist has to follow the rules and regulations of the borrowing department. In the instant case, no evidence was laid before us to satisfy the above conditions,” the court observed.

The court asked how the Ministry of Railways can appoint him on an acting charge basis in the services of GDA, which is a provincial government department.