Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued a show-cause notice to Housing Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat on Monday for failing to comply with the court’s previous show-cause notice issued to him and others.
While hearing the petition of Mian Masud and Rana Saleem, the judge observed that the minister, Secretary Kamran Lashari and Director General (DG) Pakistan Works Department (PWD) have apparently committed contempt of court by not complying with the previous notices.
Justice Siddiqui served another notice to the respondents, giving them 14 days to reply to why the contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them.
Earlier, Superintending Engineer Mian Masud Akhtar and Executive Engineer Rana Saleem Akhtar had challenged their suspensions before the court. On December 29 last year, the court had ordered the reinstatement of both officers with immediate effect, but instead of complying with the order, the pair was transferred to Quetta.
Their counsel, Abdur Rahim Bhatti, had contended before the judge that his clients were suspended for three months in June, 2011. However, they were not reinstated after their suspension orders expired.
The officials then filed a petition under article 204 of the Constitution, praying that the court initiate contempt proceedings against the respondents-- Hayat, Lashari and the PWD DG — for flouting court orders.
The counsel contended that as per the court’s previous order, a copy of the petition along with the orders were sent to the office of the PWD Director General for his clients’ reinstatement, who “defied the order willfully and without any legal justification”.
He said that the housing secretary issued notification of his clients’ reinstatement to the post but reassigned them to Quetta instead of their old posts. He argued that his clients, Masud and Saleem, are being victimised. He also contended that their suspension was the result of a clash of interest among the politicians sitting at the helm of affairs.
Bhatti also accused Haider Khan Kharal, a cousin of Housing Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat, of playing the role of front man to the minister and demanding bribes from his clients for their reinstatement. Kharal was defeated by Riaz Fatyana in the 2008 provincial parliamentary elections.
Kharal did not answer his phone when approached by The Express Tribune for comments.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2012.
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