Islamabad - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has singled out 42 out of hundreds of its employees who were out-of-turn promoted, upgraded and whose cadres were changed illegally since 2007. CDA is finalising inquiry into the scam despite the case is pending before the Supreme Court.

The scam of out-of-turn promotions and up-gradations is being inquired simultaneously at three different forums i.e. Supreme Court of Pakistan, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Authority itself. The SC had taken a suo motu notice on a media report wherein it was said that various CDA officials were promoted out-of-turn between 2007 and 2012 during the tenures of former CDA chairmen Farkhand Iqbal and Imtiaz Inayat Elahi. However, the matter is still pending before the SC.

According to a reply submitted by the CDA in the SC, around 400 employees had got improper promotions on the basis of their political approach or through extending monetary favours. The promotions were approved by the CDA board of directors on May 11, 2011.

FIA also started a separate inquiry into the matter after it found that personnel files of several such employees were not available in CDA record, which impedes investigations into the issue.

However, in July 2016, the CDA had asked the FIA to stop investigation into the case of ‘Up-gradation of CDA Employees’ as it is sub-judice before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The director staff to Chairman CDA had written a letter to the director FIA Islamabad zone on July 25, 2016 to state that the case is sub-judice before the SC through a suo motu notice. The CDA Mazdoor Union is also a party and pleading the case on behalf of CDA employees.

The letter said the CDA Mazdoor Union leaders met the chairman CDA on the issue and pleaded that the case of ‘Up-gradation of CDA Employees’ is sub-judice before the SC. They said the FIA has also taken up the subject matter for investigation during the pendency of the matter in the apex court which would be a source of harassment for the employees of CDA. They advised that FIA may stop to proceed further in the matter of investigation till final decision of the apex court on the issue. Subsequently, the CDA officials asked the FIA to stop proceedings in the matter.

The CDA had constituted an inquiry committee headed by Ejaz Ahmed Siddiqui, Director QS, to probe the illegal up-gradations/re-designation of officials. Interestingly, the member-cum-secretary of the inquiry committee, Muhammad Aftab Saleem was terminated from CDA service in 2010 but later inducted in the service.

The sources said that the HRD was selective in sending the record to the inquiry committee.

“The HRD sent a list of 81 out of 1068 officials in personal up-gradation case, to the inquiry committee and provided service record of only 47 such officials to the committee out of which 42 officials have been served ‘explanations’, said a senior CDA official who is privy to the development.

In a recent development, in the light of inquiry findings, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Directorate of the CDA on July 14, 2017, issued explanations/show-cause to 42 officials in the illegal up-gradation case. The ‘explanation’ served separately to each accused said that ‘as per record, you have been illegally up-graded/re-designated in violation of procedure laid down in CDA Employees (Service) Regulation, 1992.

Hence, in the light of SC decision dated May 9, 2013, you will be reverted back to your position.’  The employees have been given 7 days to explain their positions separately. Furthermore, an 11-point self-explanatory questionnaire is also attached with the Explanation to be duly filled by the accused.

On the other hand, the affectees of the CDA decision have approached Chairman CDA against what they termed targeted, biased, prejudice and highly objectionable inquiry into the scam.

“The following points are also critical and required to be noted before wishful conclusions get actualized”, said a letter written by the aggrieved officials to the chairman. The letter further stated that the matter of illegal up-gradation is sub-judice in a suo motu case in the apex court. The letter said that the Authority had submitted a list of 1,000 such cases in the SC. “The decision is yet to come after which illegal transactions, if any, are liable to be reverted. So the Authority/agencies must wait until the apex court gives verdict”, said the letter addressed to CDA Chairman.

When contacted, CDA spokesman, Mazhar Hussain said that the case is pending in the SC and added CDA held inquiry in the wake of some audit paras.

tahir niaz

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 17-Jul-2017 here.