A senior officer of the Prisons Department is pushing for the removal of Kokab Nadeem Warraich as inspector general (IG) for prisons on the grounds that his appointment, made when the province was under governor’s rule two years ago, violates the principles of merit and seniority, as well as civil service rules.
Mian Farooq Nazir, who held the post as an additional charge prior to Warraich’s appointment, told The Express Tribune that he had approached Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on the subject.
“I have made representations to the chief minister for the reversal of the appointment of the IG made during Governor’s Rule. I am the most senior officer in the Prisons Department and deserve to be posted as IG,” said Nazir. The Express Tribune tried to contact Warraich via mobile phone and landline, but he was not available for comment.
According to documents available with The Express Tribune, Warraich was transferred from the BS-19 post of deputy inspector general for prisons in Faisalabad to the then BS-20 post of IG for prisons in Punjab in February 2009 while the province was under Governor’s Rule. He was posted “in his own pay and scale”, meaning that he would remain a grade 19 officer.
The appointment apparently violated Rules 10(a) and 10(b) of the Punjab Civil Servants (Appointment and Conditions of Service) Rules 1974, which state that appointments to the vacant post of IG must be made either on a regular basis (a grade 20 officer for a grade 20 post) or on an acting-charge basis (meaning the junior officer would be replaced as soon as an officer in grade 20 becomes available), whereas Warraich was appointed in his own pay and scale and is still in the post.
The Service Rules 1974 state that the Punjab government may appoint an IG for prisons “by promotion on the basis of selection on merit from amongst DIGs having 22 years of service in BS-17 and above, out of which two years of service should be as DIG in BS-20 on a regular basis.” But Warraich joined the Prisons Department as superintendent in BS-17 in October 1994, meaning he had only 15 years of service when he was posted IG. In March 2010, the Punjab government upgraded the post of IG for prisons from BS-20 to BS-21. The rules require that officers working in their own pay scales in higher posts be promoted to their substantive grades, but this has not happened in Warraich’s case and he remains in grade 19.
According to the Punjab Prisons Department Service Rules 2010, only an officer who has completed the National Management Course or National Defence Course may be appointed IG for prisons in BS-21. Warraich has not completed either course.
The rules also require that the Services and General Administration Department submit three candidates for the post of IG for prisons to the competent authority, but this was not done before Warraich was appointed.
All the appointments made during Governor’s Rule were reversed after it ended in March 2009, except for Warraich’s appointment as IG for prisons, sources in the Home Department said.
A senior Home Department official said that the appointment of a junior officer to the post was an insult to senior officers and merit. “The PML-N government has made a policy of posting junior officers to senior slots,” said the official. “They posted a BS-18 officer to the slot of secretary in BS-21 and a BS-17 officer as district coordination officer in BS-20. This is nothing new,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2011.