NA, K-P speakers found guilty of misuse of authority

Published: January 2, 2019
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National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser. PHOTO: EXPRESS

National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Mushtaq Ghani have been found guilty of misuse of authority by the K-P Services Tribunal in a case pertaining to the appointment the provincial assembly’s secretary.

In 2017, appellant Kifayatullah Khan was ignored for the position of secretary provincial assembly despite seniority. His petition claimed the departmental promotion committee (DPC) had instead appointed a junior member, Nasrullah.

Kifayatullah maintained that the appointment violated promotion rules and approached the DPC in November 2017 seeking setting aside of the move.

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On the other hand, Nasrullah claimed that the tribunal did not have the jurisdiction to hear the petition as DPC had already made the decision while Kifayatullah’s departmental appeal was pending with the DPC. The lawyer maintained that the petitioner’s appeal was in violation of rule 23 and cannot be heard and hence be disposed of.

However, the three-member bench of services tribunal observed in its verdict that the “appellant [Kifayatullah] was ignored on flimsy, whimsical and nonsensical grounds and in utter disregard to the criteria for the promotion laid down in the Services Rules of the Provincial Assembly.”

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It also noted that Qaiser, who was K-P Assembly speaker at the time, and Ghani abused their power by illegally appointing the special secretary and director for automation and information technology for K-P Assembly.

“By now the it has been established beyond any shadow of the doubt that the former and the present speakers have one point agenda to promote cronyism, nepotism and favouritism at the cost of merit, transparency, fairness, equality and justice. It amounts to misuse of official authority and is open to cognizance/ judicial scrutiny by the quarters concerned.”

The said case was highlighted during proceedings by Kifayatullah’s counsel. The appointment had been struck down by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in November, 2018.

In its verdict, the tribunal restored Kifayatullah as acting secretary provincial assembly.

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