In violation: Contempt notice issued to federal secretary

Court says Ministry of Religious Affairs defied its ruling regarding the auction.

Our Correspondent July 29, 2013
Court says Ministry of Religious Affairs defied its ruling regarding the auction. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Monday issued contempt notice against Hajj and Religious Affairs federal secretary following the ministry’s move to auction the Hajj quota despite the court’s orders not to do so.

The notice was issued by a PHC division bench comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Qaisar Rashid while hearing a contempt application filed by Minhaj tour operators. The petitioner contended PHC had directed the federal government not to auction Hajj quota, but the ministry still went ahead with the move, defying the court’s ruling.

The bench then issued contempt notice to Hajj and Religious Affairs secretary directing him to clarify his position. The case was later adjourned till August 6.

On July 1, the court put a stay on the federal government’s order of barring around 38,000 pilgrims from performing Hajj within the quota allowed for private tour operators.

Meanwhile, the court summoned secretary administration for alleged misappropriation while allotting residencies to government officials.

The orders were issued while hearing a petition filed by a Grade-18 civil servant, Feroz, who contended he was allotted a Grade-14 official residency. He alleged the department was guilty of misappropriation through allotting residences of Grade-18 employees to Grade-14 and 16 officials.

The bench observed it would declare all such allotments illegal and residences given against the scale would be vacated. The bench also summoned secretary administration to produce the relevant record before the court.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.

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