Re-employed officers resignation an ‘eye-wash’

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LAHORE – Resignation of seven officers which were “re-employed” by the Punjab government is a mere “eye-wash”, as scores of such officers are still working in various government departments across Punjab, Pakistan Today has learnt. Seven important officials considered “dear” to the Punjab government resigned on Wednesday before hearing of the case at the Supreme Court on Thursday, as Punjab government spokesman Senator Pervaiz Rashid termed the resignations “in pursuance of the court orders.”
An eight-member SC bench on January 27 observed that re-employment of retired officers on senior posts in federal and provincial departments was a violation, which is tantamount to blocking promotions of other officers. The court directed the federal and provincial governments to take steps to ensure that contractual employment was not made in violation of law.
The bench, in its order on the contractual issue of retired officials, held that prima facie, it appeared that provisions of law in Section 14 of the Civil Servants Act 1973 and sections of the Estacode and verdicts of the apex court on the subject were not considered and adhered to. The court observed that the practice was not conducive for good governance. According to sources, many important posts have also been given to people who have been hired by the Punjab government after retirement.
But according to sources, the move was an “eye-wash”, as nearly hundred officers are still working in different government departments across Punjab. The important officers still working include the law secretary, Punjab Information Technology Board chairman, all six members of the Punjab Service Tribunal, four directors of the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Special Investigation Unit (SIU) and scores of consultants and advisers.
According to sources, all re-hiring was being done by the CM, who approved such postings to benefit his ‘dear ones’ despite their retirement. “Another gain for the CM by re-hiring retired officers is that such officers execute all orders of the chief executive without questioning, hence not only blocking promotion of fresh officers, but also compromising merit,” they added.
Although re-hiring of retired officers has not been ruled out in the Civil Servants Act 1973 stating, “A retired civil servant shall not be re-employed under the federal government, unless such re-employment is necessary in the public interest,” in most instances the prescribed procedure is not adhered to, thus violating merit.