Supreme Court summons complete records regarding appointment of chairman CDA

Chief Justice questions whether cabinet has approved his appointment

Hasnaat Malik February 08, 2018
Usman Akhtar Bajwa. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The top court has summoned complete record regarding the appointment of chairman City Development Authority (CDA) Usman Akhtar Bajwa on Thursday.

The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar has directed the Additional Attorney General Waqar Rana to submit record regarding incumbent chairman CDA appointment.

The chief justice asked that whether the cabinet has approved his appointment.

He also said that public office holders should be appointed on merit as there should not be nepotism.

The court has also directed CDA to regularize 70 marriage halls and marquee.

Chairman CDA Usman Bajwa told the bench that CDA board meeting is going to be held next week for regularisation of 70 marriage halls marquee. The bench asked him to submit report on Tuesday.

Usman Akhtar Bajwa appointed new CDA chief

Almost a month after its former incumbent was removed, the government on January 26, 2018 announced the new chairman.

In a notification issued, the Establishment Division announced that Immigration and Passports Director General Usman Akhtar Bajwa will be taking over as the chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

On December 29, 2017, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had ruled that Islamabad Mayor Shiekh Anser Aziz’s appointment as the CDA chief as an additional charge while including him as an ex-officio member of the CDA board, was illegal.

The court had ruled that Aziz’s appointment violated section 6 when read with section 8 of the CDA Ordinance 1960.

CDA yet to devise lease renewal policy for commercial plots

While removing Aziz from the CDA hot seat, the court gave the federal government 45 days to appoint a new chairman of the civic body.

In view of the court’s order, the Establishment Division had sent names of three candidates for the CDA chairman post to the cabinet division.

The Prime Minister’s Office, though, returned the summary and directed the Establishment Division to send only a single name. The Establishment Division resent the summary, including only Bajwa’s name. The summary was subsequently approved.

Bajwa is a basic pay scale (BPS)-20 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service. He is currently deputed as the director general of the Immigration and Passport Department under Interior Division.

Without a head, work in the civic body had ground to a halt with most of the members preoccupied with the arrival of a new chief.

Three-year term

Even as the government looked for a candidate to replace Aziz as the CDA chairman, it moved to limit the term of any new chief of the body apart from changing the reasons for which they could be removed.

On January 11, 2018, the federal cabinet approved amendments to the CDA Ordinance 1960, paving the way for civil servants to be appointed as the CDA chief, the vice chairman and the financial advisor directly.

With neither the Senate nor the National Assembly in session, President Mamnoon Hussain promulgated the CDA Amendment Ordinance 2018, while exercising powers conferred under clause- 1 of Article 89 of the Constitution. It came just a day before the national assembly session started on January 12.

“The government passed the ordinance in haste instead of tabling a bill in the national assembly, on the apprehension that the NA will block the bill which will be used to further empower bureaucrats,” some non-cadre officers at the CDA told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity on Friday.

The presidential ordinance 2018 had eliminated chances for ex-cadre CDA officers to become the authority’s chief. Some non-cadre CDA officers demanded that the CDA Ordinance of 1960, should be restored in its true form and to eliminate the discrepancies between cadre and non-cadre officers.

Complaining of discrimination, the non-cadre officers expressed their disappointment over the move and demanded regular promotions for non-cadre officers just like the ones cadre officers get apart from equality in the privileges and opportunities afforded to officers.


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