The Supreme Court on Monday admonished the government for ignoring its orders on the promotion of a retired customs officer, as it warned that continued non-compliance could result in summons for the prime minister on contempt charges.
“If the court’s orders are not implemented, then we can also summon the prime minister,” stated an agitated Justice Azmat Saeed who was heading a two-member bench of the apex court which heard a contempt of court petition against the Establishment Division Secretary. “Once the premier has been summoned, he will not go back.”
“There is enough place in Adiala Jail,” he added suggestively.
The court had on April 27, 2015, issued orders for the promotion of retired customs officer Umer Farooq. However, the establishment division had stalled the order for over eight months.
On Monday, Arif Chaudhry – who was representing the establishment division secretary – contended that they were not delaying implementation of the court’s order.
He added that the establishment division had on January 29, 2016, sent a summary for Farooq’s promotion to the prime minister for approval and that it had been signed the same day.
But this failed to assuage Justice Saeed who remarked that the establishment division seemed to have been playing the Supreme Court for the eight months that it took to issue a summary. He also expressed his displeasure over the absence of the establishment division secretary.
“The Establishment Division secretary has been summoned repeatedly but he has failed to show up for filing his response”.
Farooq went on to contend that the notification issued had failed to comply with the top court’s initial order.
The attorney general, who had been summoned by the court despite not being listed among the respondents, assured the bench that its orders would be implemented and that a new notification in line with the court’s directions will be issued.
Hearing this, the court granted the government 48 hours to issue an amended promotion order for Farooq and adjourned hearings till Wednesday, February 3.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2016.