ISLAMABAD: Despite the Supreme Court’s (SC) orders to repatriate all the officers working on deputation, Establishment Division (ED) has failed to bring politically appointed officers and consultants back from important slots.
Information available with Pakistan Today reveals that the ED is not fully complying with the orders of the apex court regarding the repatriation of all the officers working on deputation in regular service cadre Office Management Group (OMG).
Currently, 369 officers are on deputation in the federal and provincial departments in which 135 came to federal from provincials departments, and 234 went to provincial from federal departments.
Sources further added that not only the Establishment Division absorbed some politically appointed officers in the OMG, but it had also appointed a few consultants on important positions in clear violation of the civil service section 10. Section 10 states that a non-cadre officer cannot be appointed to a cadre position.
The government was pursuing a policy to induct a maximum number of non-cadre officers, generally teachers, veterinary doctors and others in regular service cadre of OMG.
It is pertinent to mention here that the SC on March 30, 2017, while disposing of a contempt petition against ED, ordered the repatriation of all officers on deputation from OMG seats to their parent departments within next four months, starting from March 30. It also asked to streamline the policies of deputations and appointments by transfers in OMG as per two judgments passed in 2013 (SCMR 1,752) and in 2015 (SCMR 456).
Subsequently, the ED repatriated hundreds of official working on deputation with the federal government to their respective departments in the provinces, however, one official said that many officers on deputation were still working on important seats in federal departments. Moreover, a few consultants were also working in regular service cadre of OMG; one of them is Joint Secretary (Water) Syed Mehar Ali Shah who is working in the ministry of water resources since over last three years.
The source said that prior to his appointment as joint secretary, Mehar Ali Shah was working with NESPAK as a consultant, and added that he, using his political connections, got himself appointed through a former federal minister as joint secretary (water) on deputation basis.
Appointment of Mehar Shah, as joint secretary, and his continuation has violated not only the decision of the SC but has also blocked the important position which is the right of OMG civil servants.
On the other hand, officers from OMG filed a petition in Islamabad High Court in October pleading that ED, instead of implementing the apex court’s order, inducted two officers from Balochistan and Punjab education departments in the OMG.
The petition conceded that though there was a process for the induction of provincial officers in the OMG, it needed to be open for all officers of the provincial governments and should not be carried out on a pick and choose basis. The petition said that the IHC had not recommended the induction of Khan and the then secretary Establishment Division had also rejected his case.
It is worth mentioning that Shaukat Ali Khan and Ejaz Ahmed, from the education departments of Punjab and Balochistan, were appointed in OMG five months ago. The two officers have been assigned important positions in the ED.
While talking to Pakistan Today, division’s spokesperson said that department was not flouting the apex court orders and added, “We repatriated many officers on the direction of court and case of these two officers is sub-judice so I cannot comment on it.”