Prisons chief seen as exceeding authority

IG Warraich accused of overstepping authority, Punjab government likely to intervene.

Anwer Sumra October 21, 2010
Prisons chief seen as exceeding authority

LAHORE: The Punjab government is likely to initiate disciplinary proceeding against the prisons inspector general (IG) for over stepping his authority in transfers, postings and promotions of several officials, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Sources said the Home Department will soon submit a summary to the chief minister to initiate an action against IG Kokab Nadeem Warraich, under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability Act, 2006. Warraich is likely to be accused of misconduct and insubordination for his failure to comply with instructions of the competent authority (the home secretary).

Salik Jalal, a Prisons Department DIG, speaking on the behalf of IG Warraich denied any misconduct. He told The Express Tribune that all decisions regarding transfers and postings were taken after taking the competent authority in confidence. “There is no question of overstepping or abuse of authority in transfers and postings,” he concluded.

A senior Home Department official, who requested not to be mentioned by name, said that the government had taken serious notice of the unlawful transfer, posting and promotion orders issued by the IG. He said the orders were being withdrawn with immediate effect.

Another Home Department official said that the government was committed to a policy of merit and transparency in transfers, postings and promotions.

“These actions of the Prison IG intended to bulldoze decisions in the administrative areas. An IG’s authority in the administrative and financial affairs of the department is limited,” he said.

A Prisons Department official, seeking anonymity, said that the authority over transfers and postings had always remained a bone of contention between the IG and the home secretary, ever since Warraich was appointed IG in March 2009. He said that the violations had gone unnoticed for a while because the IG was backed by a senior politician, who beholden to Warraich on accounts of favours during his imprisonment.

According to the Home Department, Warraich unlawfully transferred and posted 19 DSPs (BS-17) and promoted two ASPs (BS-16) to the rank of DSPs in violation of the Rules of Business, Punjab Civil Services Act, 1974 and Punjab Prison Rules 2010.

Under the rules, the IG is the competent authority regarding transfers/postings of ASPs, the home secretary is the appointing authority for DSPs (BS-17) and SPs (BS-18), and the chief secretary is the competent authority for appointment of SSPs (BS-19). The chief minister is the appointing authority for DIGs (BS-20) and the IG (BS-21).

In June 1986, the Punjab government had delegated the powers of transferring and postings Prisons DSPs. This was in November 2008, withdrawn after reports of rampant favouritism and nepotism to IG. The Home Department then directed the Prisons IG to maintain the record of the BS-16 officials only. The IG was authorised to forward proposals to the home secretary regarding transfers, postings and promotions in the same scale.

The officers who benefited from the IG’s allegedly ‘incompetent’ actions are Zumarad Bano, Najam Iqbal Mirza, Malik Muhammad Feroz Kalyar, Mian Hafeezur Rehman, Riaz Ahmad Khan, Mian Zahid Mahmood, Noor Hassan Bhagela, Kishwar Naheed, Muhammad Sarwar Sumra, Muhammad Aamir Qureshi, Bashir Ahmad, Shabraiz Hussain, Sultan Ali, Khalid Bashir, Muhammad Tahir, Muhammad Younis, Ijaz Ahmed, Muhammad Yaqoob, Muhammad Azam Shaheen, Muhammad Arshad and Asghar Ali.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2010.


Another man from within | 13 years ago | Reply The posts of regional DIGs are simply useless. These posts are playing the role of post office only and indeed another tier of corruption. The Govt should restore the powers of Jail Supdts at the position of 1974 with respect to discipline/punishment/reward of subordinate staff up-to the rank of Deputy Jail Supdt. This will ensure examplary control over prisons and prisoners.
A man from within | 13 years ago | Reply Undoubtedly, the general repute of present IG of jails (Punjab) Nadeem Warraich is not satisfactory. He is reportedly involved in acts of nepotism, gross financial irregularities and darely corruption. Although he had been reasonably junior to one other officer of the department (Mian Farooq) yet he has been appointed to this post on political backing of Yusuf Raza Gillani, Prime Minister, as the former being Jail Superintendent of Adyala Jail Rawalpindi rendered special favours to the latter during his imprisonment in the said jail. He was appointed as IG during Governor Rule. After restoration of political Govt of Shahbaz Shareef, all appointments/transfers/postings of Governor Rule were reverted except IG of jails. Warraich is also said to be knowing nothing about the prison management except how to avoid a situation, develop relations with the influentials/politicians and high-ups, and make money. Yet this is only one side of the issue. On the other hand, the Home Secretary (usually a CSP/DMG officer) is also not a sacred cow. Keeping all authorities with Home Department and all responsibilities with the IG is absolutely unfair and unjustified. The only solution to this situation is removal of present IG and appointment/posting of an incumbent on merit in stricto-senso and then rational distribution of powers i.e. the authority of appointment/posting/transfer/punishment/reward up to the rank of Superintendent of a District prison may be conferred upon the IG. The regional DIGs of jails should also be allocated such powers up to the rank of Asstt. Supdt of prison.
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