In a bureaucratic shakeup, Sukkur Municipal Corporation (SMC) administrator, Tufail Ahmed Soomro, suspended five SMC employees a fortnight after they were promoted.
While providing The Express Tribune with copies of all relevant documents, Perwez Ahmed, Mumtaz Mahar, Shafat Ali, Mohammad Arshad and Mohammad Anwar said that according to letter no. SMC/GB/Estt/-696, dated January 16, 2012, they were each promoted to higher pay scales in their respective jobs. The letter was signed by Soomro.
According to the letter, Perwez Ahmed, an office superintendent who was working in grade 16 (22 being the highest) in the land grant branch, was promoted to deputy director of katchi abadies, in grade 17.
Mumtaz Ali Mahar, who was working as an assistant in account branch, grade 14, was promoted to office superintendent in grade 16. Shafat Ali, a stenographer to the administrator, grade 12, was promoted to assistant in grade 14. Mohammad Arshad, who was working as a senior clerk grade 9, was promoted to Ali’s old job in grade 12 and Mohammad Anwar, who was working as a junior clerk in grade 7, was promoted to Arshad’s previous position in grade 9. According to the letter, these promotions would become effective from February 6.
However, another letter (No. SMC/GB/Estt/- 734), issued on February 2, cancelled out the earlier letter and said that a fresh order will be issued after the verification of seniority list by the departmental promotion committee. The employees concerned then filed a constitutional petition through their lawyer, Amanullah Shaikh, in the Sindh High Court, Sukkur, on February 14, and challenged the SMC administrator’s latest orders. The division bench, headed by Justice Shahid Anwar Bajwah, heard the case on February 15 and suspended the municipal commissioner’s orders of February 2 and fixed the date of the next hearing at March 13.
However, instead of following the court’s order, Soomro issued a letter (no. SMC/GB/Estt/- 803) on February 28 that suspended the five persons on alleged charges of negligence towards their duties.
While criticising the SMC administrator, the aggrieved employees said that Soomro was denying them their deserved promotions in order to give a leg up to junior employees based on nepotism. They added that an influential politician in Sukkur was backing the municipal commissioner. Despite repeated attempts, this reporter could not get through to Soomro.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2012.