Questionable perks: CDA restrained from allotting plots to deputationists

IHC gave the order on a petition questioning the legality of the practice.


Obaid Abbasi June 30, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday restrained the Capital Development Authority (CDA) from allotting plots to officers working for the civic body on deputation, the third such blow in just a week to officers on lucrative deputation duty.


The petition was filed by the CDA’s Ex-Officers Welfare Association challenging the allotment of 200 plots in developed sectors to officers on deputation in the authority.

IHC judge Noorul Haq Qureshi also issued notices to CDA Chairman Farkhand Iqbal, member, estate, Khalid Mehmood Mirza, Administration Director Haseen Raza, member, environment,  Mian Waheeduddin, and the Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) director general Talat Rasheed Miyan seeking their comments within two weeks.

The petitioner, Ex-officers Welfare Association secretary general, Sajjad Ali Siddiqui, through his counsel Advocate Hafiz Arafat Ahmad, contended before the court that the civic agency had allotted plots to officers on deputation in violation of standard operating procedures.

He alleged that deputationist officers are highly influential and most of them belong to the District Management Group (DMG), adding that they used their political connections to get the plots, citing media reports published in different newspapers.

The counsel for the petitioner maintained that in the recent past, influential bureaucrats have been using “dirty tactics” to get postings in the authority on deputation and blamed ‘corrupt’ officials for introducing unlawful amendments in the regulations to accommodate them.

He argued that initially, it was compulsory for a deputationist officer to serve in the CDA for three years to become eligible to get a plot, but this period was reduced by the authority.  CDA rules do not apply on the officers working on deputation, hence they are not eligible to get plots according to the same procedure and criteria as permanent employees of the civic body.

He urged the court to restrain the CDA from allotting plots to deputationist officers.

The counsel for the petitioner maintained that on the one hand the CDA has allotted a large number of plots to deputationist officers, while on the other it has denied the same benefit to members of the association who were employees of the civic agency.

He claimed that FGEHF had also issued a letter in 1990 in which 20 per cent of residential plots were reserved for CDA employees, but they had still not been given out.

While hearing a separate CDA-related case on June 27, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui hinted that the court will also decide the fate of officials working in CDA on deputation and the status of any incentives found to be unauthorised.

On June 21, the allotments of 200 residential plots to senior CDA officials in Sector I-8 was also cancelled after it was reported that balloting for the plots was held secretly in violation of Supreme Court’s orders, which prompted protests from the lower staff.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.

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