The Peshawar High Court Abbottabad circuit bench has declared the appointment of the Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) director-general illegal, without lawful authority and of no legal effect.
The court termed the said appointment in violation of section 10 of the GDA (amendment) Act 2020.
The PHC double bench comprising Justice Ibrahim Khan and Justice Shakil Ahmed issued the judgement on a petition filed by Sardar Muhammad Ramzan, a resident of the Nagri Bala area.
The court directed heads of departments concerned to make all appointments and postings in the future strictly following the law and rules applicable to the case. The court further directed the public functionaries not to follow illegal orders/instructions issued by the ministries concerned or any other authorities while making such appointments/postings.
The petitioner had contended that the GDA director-general was appointed in violation of the Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Act 2016, stating that at the time of his posting, he was serving in BPS-18 in Pakistan Railways and posted in BPS-20. He further argued that to accommodate him, not only an amendment was brought in the relevant section of law authorising the government to post an officer not below the rank of BPS-19 as the GDA director-general but through a notification dated 26.2.2021, he was appointed in BPS-19 on acting charges basis which speaks malafied on the part of the officials concerned. He further argued that the respondent did not possess the requisite qualification to be posted as the GDA director-general.
The bench, while referring to several judgements and the relevant laws, stated that an officer of BPS-18 cannot be posted as the GDA director-general. The court said that the procedure provided in the ESTA code required that a person who is transferred and appointed on deputation must be a government servant and such transfer should be made through the process of selection.
“The borrowing department has to establish exigency in the first place and then the person who is being transferred on deputation must have matching qualifications and expertise in the field with the required experience. In absence of these conditions, the government cannot appoint anyone by transfer on deputation. It is pertinent to mention here that the deputationist has to follow the rules and regulations of the borrowing department,” the judgement said.
The bench further stated that the respondent was serving in BPS-18 in the Pakistan Railways and was posted as the director-general after amendment in section 10 of the GDA Act of 2018, reducing it from BPS-20 to BPS19. “Even the amendment, no officer below the ranks of BPS-19 can be posted or appointed against the post of the director-general for a term not exceeding three years,” the bench said.
Meanwhile, the Galiyat Tahafuz Movement (GTM) has announced to challenge all decisions, leases and agreements made by the GDA director-general during his illegal tenure of the last four-and-a-half-year.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2021.