Pakistan News

Illegal appointments unearthed in science ministry’s dept

ISLAMABAD: An inquiry has unearthed illegal appointments and rule violations in the National Metrology Institute of Pakistan (NMIP), the apex body for metrology — or the scientific study of measurement.

An inquiry report submitted to the secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, which oversees the NMIP, has suggested criminal proceedings through the FIA against Fozia Khan, the acting director general of the Metrology Institute, and others on the charges of forgery, fabrication, destroying evidence and causing an unlawful loss to the state.

Although the inquiry report was submitted to the ministry in September last year, no action has been taken so far.

The report, seen by Dawn, has found irregularities and forgery by the NMIP in hiring employees in November 2021. It has also found the number of posts was increased without permission and above the sanctioned strength of the Metrology Institute.

The inquiry committee was headed by a former joint secretary of the science ministry, Hassan Ali Khan Laghari.

Formerly called the National Physical and Standards Laboratory (NPSL), the department’s name was changed to the National Metrology Institute of Pakistan after approval of the National Quality Policy 2021.

It was established in 1974 as a development project of the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR). In 1983, it started functioning at its present premises in Islamabad as a unit of the PCSIR.

The report has found that 42 posts were advertised for grades 1 to 15, but the institute recruited 66 employees.

The committee particularly highlighted the case of Saad Hassan, who was originally recommended as a lab attendant in Grade 1 but was later offered a Grade 11 post as an alternative candidate “in very mysterious circumstances” and allegedly through forgery.

It said Mr Hassan also didn’t undergo the mandatory training, as specifically mentioned in the advertisement for the post.

“The appointment of Mr Saad Hassan being ab initio wrong, and as a result of fraudulent forgery tricks may be recalled and declared null and void forthwith, as it is based on acts of forgery, and the amount paid to him in the form of salary, etc. and all benefits extended to him may be recovered,” the inquiry committee told the ministry.

In fact, the committee suggested that all recruitments might be declared null and void as they violated the code and policy.

“The services of the recruited persons may be dispensed with during the probationary period, regardless of the fact that litigation may follow, but the truth must prevail,” said the report.

“Criminal proceedings may be initiated against Ms Fozia Khan, Mr Rashid Mehmood Chaudhry, and Mr Naeem Ilahi for acts of forgery, fabrication and destruction of evidence and for causing an unlawful loss to the state, through FIA,” the inquiry report said.

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2023

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