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High court moved for contempt proceedings against PA speaker

High court moved for contempt proceedings against PA speaker

PESHAWAR: A lawyer on Friday moved the Peshawar High Court seeking contempt proceedings against the provincial assembly’s speaker and six others over the re-appointment of a special secretary to BPS-19 after the court declared his appointment illegal and unconstitutional in 2018.

Advocate Ali Azim Afridi filed a contempt petition claiming that the Peshawar High Court had declared the appointment of Syed Waqar Shah illegal and an act of favouritism on Nov 13, 2018, but he was re-appointed as the special secretary by Speaker of the provincial assembly Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani on the recommendation of a departmental committee comprising MPAs Babar Saleem Swati, Mohammad Zahoor and Laiq Mohammad Khan.

He requested the court to proceed against the speaker, three MPAs and three other respondents, including deputy secretary (administration) of the assembly Wakil Khan, secretary Nasrullah Khan and Syed Waqar over contempt of the court under Article 204 of the Constitution and Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003.

The petitioner had earlier challenged the appointment of Syed Waqar, an officer of Pakistan International Airlines Corporation as a special secretary to the speaker on deputation, and his subsequent absorption in the assembly.

Lawyer claims special secy reappointed after court declared appointment illegal

A bench comprising Justice Roohul Amin Khan and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan had accepted that petition on Nov 13, 2018, and ruled that it was abundantly clear from the whole exercise undertaken on the orders of the speaker that the post of the special secretary to the speaker in BPS-19 was created in an indecent haste for a certain person, who served as a senior officer (flight services) in the PIAC and whose credentials for the post were shrouded in mystery.

Referring to that judgment, the petitioner said that the bench had ruled: “the superstructure of appointment on deputation for a further period of three years and subsequent absorption built on such a void order of transfer on deputation was not sustainable, not only because of elements of nepotism and favouritism clearly discernible from the unsavory conduct of authorities in the Assembly, especially Speaker who played key role in bypassing clear provisions of law and rules of the Assembly, despite his tall claim of being custodian of the Assembly.”

It added that “One wonders that how the Speaker, after trampling clear provisions of law and rules and also the most celebrated judgments of the august Superior Courts thereby deprecating the unscrupulous practice of absorption of outsiders on extraneous consideration against lucrative posts in civil service, could nevertheless claim to be ‘custodian’ of the top legislative organ of the province, mandated by people of the province to legislate for them. It was, indeed, unfortunate that a person occupying such a dignified position in the province, especially in the realm of enacting laws for the province, showed scant regard for the laws and rules (2018 SCMR 54, 2018 SCMR 48, 2017 SCMR 2051 and 2015 SCMR 456).”

The petitioner said after the court declared the respondent (Syed Waqar) a blue-eyed person of those at the helm, he couldn’t be re-appointed.

He added that the re-appointment undermined and brought into ridicule the authority of the high court.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2020

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