LAHORE: An officer was posted as a deputy secretary in the secretariat group, allegedly in line with the wishes of the prime minister on a no objection certificate (NOC) ostensibly issued by the former chief secretary in violation of the proper procedure, The Express Tribune has learnt.
There is no record of the NOC issued to Faisal Nisar Chaudhary, senior superintendent of prisons, in the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) Punjab, an official said.
Sources said that the former chief secretary, Javed Mehmood, had ‘issued’ the NOC on plain paper. “Chaudhary did not apply to the Home Department for the issuance of the NOC. No PUC was initiated in the S&GAD for an approval of the NOC from the competent authority (the chief secretary) either,” said the source.
The official added that the NOC issued was not on official paper and did not contain any file number or the name of the office to which it was addressed. The certificate ‘issued’ by the former chief secretary reads: “Government of the Punjab has no objection to the induction of Faisal Nisar Chaudhary, a BS-19 officer of the Prisons Department to the federal government in the secretariat group and recommends him for the said induction”. It was dated January 18, 2010.
Jalal Sikandar Sultan Raja, the S&GAD secretary said that the NOC was a fake since the official procedure was not followed. He said that such a document would not carry the signature of the chief secretary, “It is supposed to be issued by a section officer or deputy secretary on official paper carrying the Punjab government’s insignia and file number, after approval from the competent authority.”
Chaudhary is known to be Yousaf Raza Gilani’s friend ever since the prime minister’s time in Central Jail Rawalpindi when Chaudhary is supposed to have provided a laptop, movies and other facilities to Gilani.
On August 17, the Home Department, on the directions of S&GAD, accorded lien to Faisal Chaudhary against the post of superintendent jail (BS-18) and subsequently in another notification dated August 31, he was accorded lien against the post of a senior superintendent jail in violation of rules and policy, an official said.
In August 2003, the Home Department had appointed Faisal Nisar Chaudhary as superintendent jail in BS-17 on the recommendation of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC). Chaudhary was posted as the additional superintendent, Central Jail Rawalpindi in September 2003.
In July 2006, Chaudhary was promoted to the rank of a senior superintendent and was posted as the senior superintendent, Central Jail Multan – the home town of Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani.
In May 2008, according to an Establishment Division (ED) notification, Faisal Nisar Chaudhary was posted as a liaison officer, a BS-19 post, in the prime minister’s Secretariat under Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act, 1973. The notification was issued two months after Gilani took oath as the prime minister.
The junior liaison officer was inducted as deputy secretary in the secretariat group in BS-19 according to ED notification No.3/11/2008-E-2 dated January 30, 2010. Chaudhary continues to work as the PM’s liaison officer despite being a deputy secretary.
On April 9, the PM’s Secretariat requested the Punjab chief secretary for retention of lien in the Prisons Department for a period of five years, on Chaudhary’s request.
Nasir Mehmood Khosa, the incumbent chief secretary, directed the S&GAD secretary to examine the case. It was during this examination that the NOC was found to be absent from the record.
The matter was hushed up by the officials on the direction of the PM’s Secretariat, said an officer who wished to remain anonymous. Moreover, the Home Department, despite knowing the facts, awarded retention of lien to Chaudhary, the official added.
Raja, the S&GAD secretary said that the matter would be probed into and that the delinquent officials who helped in the issuance of the questionable NOC and other documents would be held accountable.
Chaudhary, when contacted, said that he had been inducted in the secretariat group “through proper channel, on the recommendation of the central selection board.” About the questionable NOC, he said that it was for the Punjab government to clarify the matter.
Mian Shabbir, the press secretary to the prime minister, said that he had no knowledge about the matter.
Javed Mehmood, the former chief secretary, was unavailable for comments.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2010.
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