LAHORE - Taking strict notice of political interference inducing a massive number of new appointments in EOBI near the upcoming general elections, the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday issued show-cause notice to nine MNAs and ministers and five influential bureaucrats.
The court sought reply from MNAs (members of national assembly) Najamud Din Khan, Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi, Engineer Amir Muqam, Sardar Mahtab Khan and Public Accounts Committee Chairman Afzal Nadeem Chan; state ministers Raza Hayat Haraj and Mir Hazar Khan Binjranai; Minister for Climate Change Rana Farooq Saeed Khan, Federal Minister Shaukatul Allah Khan; Special Assistant to Prime Minister Zameer Khan; Chief Coordinator to PM Sadiq Sanjrani; Senate Deputy Chairman Sabbir Ali Baloch; Governor Secretariat Deputy Secretary Muhammad Subhan Butt; and Deputy Secretary to Senior Minister, Muhammad Ismail Iqbal.
These politicians belong to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) and PML-Q, showing how all the political opponents get united for their ‘mutual benefit’. The court issued the order on a petition moved by Executive Officer (IT) of EOBI Hazir Ali and Senior Assistant Atta Muhammad Khan through Kashif Ali Chaudhry advocate.
The court was told on Wednesday by the petitioners that respondents including EOBI Chairman Zafar Iqbal Gondal and HRD ministry had invited applications for recruitment against 450 different posts. But the said ministers, MNAs and bureaucrats were distributing the different EOBI slots among their supporters, and the appointment were being made by misusing a suspension order of an LHC division bench, the petitioners said.
“MNA Najmud Din Khan had recommended 26 candidates, Minister of Housing and Works Raza Hayat Harraj recommended 13 persons of his constituency for appointments, Minster for State and Frontier Regions Shaukatull Allah recommended one person for post of Assistant Director, MNA Amir Muqam recommended 24 candidates. Meraj Nizamudin had recommended a candidate Irfan Ahmad for appointment on post of Personal Assistant, while other politicians and bureaucrats had also recommended their blue-eyed,” the petitioners claimed while producing letters written by aforesaid persons in the court.
The petitioners pointed out that the federal government had appointed respondent Zafar Iqbal Gondal EOBI chairman on political basis despite the fact that he was already charged for corruption during his appointment in the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and National Highways Authority. The chairman had setup sheer examples of transgressions of authority, betrayal of trust and plundering of money of poor retired workers without any rhyme or remorse in flagrant disregard to law, rules and instructions in vogue, the petitioners maintained.
The chairman had earlier made illegal appointments in high echelons of EOBI against 250 posts on political basis in the year 2010 without adhering to law and rules, and the apex court had taken serious notice of arbitrary exercise of discretionary powers by the chairman in those appointments, and declared them violation of rules and regulations, the petitioners submitted. They requested the court to set aside the recruitments, stay the recruitment process till the final disposal of the petition, and direct respondents not to take any adverse action against the petitioners in retaliation.
Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan heard arguments and issued show-cause notice to aforesaid 14 figures seeking their reply as under what authority they were interfering in the affairs of an institution and have they any mandate on behalf of people of Pakistan to bypass the law. “Prime-facie it seems that said members as well as minister are distributing funds at their discretion without authority,” the court’s interim order said. The court will retake the matter on February 28.