Increase font size Decrease font size Reset font size

Minister says rules violated in NAB appointments

By Amir Wasim 2016-06-22
ISLAMABAD: Law Minister Zahid Hamid admitted on Tuesday before a Senate committee that a number of officers in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had been appointed on `acting or current charges` in higher grades in violation of rules.

The minister told the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice that not only in NAB, but the `malpractice` of appointing officers on `acting or current charges` for a period of more than three months through misuse of the rules had been continuing in other departments and ministries for several years as well.

The minister, however, disclosed that his ministry had sent a summary to the prime minister asking him to give `ex-post facto` approvalofthe postings that had already been made in NAB.

The meeting of the committee presided over by Javed Abbasi of the ruling PML-N had been convened to discuss the matter regarding appointments of some senior officers in NAB in violation of the rules.

PPP`s parliamentary leader in the Senate Saeed Ghani, who had actually raised the matter in the Senate and who is also a member of the law and justice committee, said that under the rules no officer could be given `acting or current charge` for more than a period of three months. He said extension to any officer for more than three months could only be given after the approval of the prime minister.

Mr Ghani alleged that there were a number of officers in NAB who had been working on `acting or current charges` for more than a year, which was aclear violation of the rules.

He said these officers were reappointed on the same position for another 90 days after a gap of two or three days.

The PPP senator alleged that the NAB chairman, who had the powers to file references against the prime minister and ministers, was himself misusing his powers by appointing officers without permission of the prime minister. He termed this practice a `serious jolce` with the country`s laws.

Responding to Mr Ghani`s viewpoint, the law minister said the practice of appointing NAB officials on `current or acting charges` was not a good tradition. He said the government had issued directives to the ministries to end this practice in theirdepartments as well.

Meanwhile, Mr Ghani alleged that NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman had been receiving pension for the past34yearsthroughafalse affidavit. The committee directed NAB to submit a report on the issue within 15 days.

The committee also sought the list of those ofEcials who had been worl(ing in NAB on deputation.

Opposition Leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, former law minister Farooq Naek, Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, Ayesha Raza Farooq, Saleem Zia, Nehal Hashmi, additional law secretary Naila Qureshi, additional secretary establishment Jawad Paul and director general human resources NAB Shakil Malik attendedthe meeting.

The issue of the appointments in NAB had been referred to the committee by Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on June 14 when Mr Ghani informed the house that some NAB officials, who had earlier been working on `acting and current charges` in higher scales in violation of rules, had now been reappointed on `Own Pay Scale (OPS) basis.

Mr Ghani had alleged that the NAB chairman through a letter on May 20 first `recalled` all those people who had been given `current and acting charges` in higher grades and later on the same day, he issued another notification appointing them again on OPS basis.