ISLAMABAD Supreme Court on Monday declared 238 appointments made in the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) as null and void and ordered National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to initiate proceedings against those responsible for the illegal act. A 3-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali hearing EOBI illegal appointments case, ordered, “All these appointments have been made through favoritism and nepotism and beyond rules and regulations. Former chairman EOBI Zafar Gondal is responsible for these appointments”. The court also asked the concerned authorities to fill the vacant posts observing rules, regulations and quota. The bench ruled that a petitioner had filed the case in the apex court in person on February 2, 2011 against illegal appointments in EOBI wherein it was stated that 213 people were appointed in grade 16 to 20. Raja Azimul Haq, son-in-law of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, was also appointed illegally. “EOBI funds cannot be utilized in violation of investment rules. Orders be issued for returning the illegal amount used under EOBI,” the petitioner had stated. A similar petition was filed on September 30, 2010 which was clubbed with this case. A fact finding committee was constituted under the court’s orders. Committee consisted of DG Audit Pervez Ahmad, DG MR Javed Iqbal, DDG Meraj Nizamuddin, Director Law Chaudhry Abdul Latif and AD Recruitments Feerozuddin Sheikh. The court ruled these appointments were reviewed in the light of EOBI service rules -1980 wherein it was laid down that first of all written test will be taken in respect of posts falling in the scale 6 to 16 and 7 to 17. 132 officers were appointed in 2010, seven officers were taken on deputation while 238 officers were appointed on contract. The court remarked that the committee maintained that 238 appointments in grade 1 to 9 were made against rules and regulations. No seat was lying vacant against which these appointments were made. No test was taken and people were appointed. The court ruled that Nazar Muhammad Gondal, brother of chairman Zafar Iqbal Gondal, had been elected as MNA from NA-109 (Mandi Bahauddin) and he was minister for food, agriculture and CAD when the appointments were made. Nadim Afzal Chan had also his role in these appointments. The court ordered that NAB should investigate into these illegal appointments including the appointment of Raja Azimul Haq, son-in-law of former PM Raja Pervez Ashraf and initiate action against those found responsible. “These matters must be dealt with in 60 days,” the court ruled. The court ordered the office to prepare list of all the officers who were involved in the appointments of these 238 people so that contempt of court proceedings could be initiated against them. SC seeks number of Thar aid recipientsINP adds: The Supreme Court on Monday called for a report as to how many famine-stricken people of Thar had so far been provided relief and succour. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jilani, was hearing the suo motu case on the Thar situation. During the hearing, Sindh Advocate General Abdul Fatah submitted a report on the famine situation. Justice Azmat Saeed asked the AG why the government didn't realise the gravity of the situation despite the last year’s drought in Tharparkar.The advocate general replied the chief minister had directed the officials concerned to take necessary measures in view of the looming crisis. Justice Azmat Saeed further asked him when it rained in Thar. The Sindh AG replied it rained normally in May and June, but last year it didn’t rain at all. The chief minister had asked the officials concerned to get prepared for the looming crisis. Justice Saeed questioned the AG why action was not taken and added Thar had a population of 1.1 million, but only 0.1 million people had received aid. The court called for a report on the number of the people of Thar who had so far been provided relief and succour.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 18-Mar-2014 here.