PESHAWAR -  Peshawar High Court on Tuesday stopped Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) from arresting of former Director General (DG) Agriculture Extension Department and eight deputy directors in an inquiry and investigation regarding embezzlement in the Insaf Seed Program.

A single bench, headed by Justice Younas Thaheem, issued the order in a writ petition filed by former DG agriculture extension department Qayash Khan and eight other deputy directors, seeking restraining order from the court not to arrest them during inquiry of the case.

The petitioner’s lawyer Waseemuddin Khattak submitted before the bench that the petitioners were appointed on the posts in 2015 as to distribute free seeds to farmers under the Insaf Seeds Program.

He told the bench that at the start of the program, a sack of seeds was provided to the farmers of three acre land and later on, the government also allowed the department to provide free seeds to the farmers, having 12 acre land.

He informed the court that after few days, the government withdrew its notification regarding provision of free seeds to the farmers having 12 acre land. He said that the last meeting minutes regarding withdrawing order of proviso of free seeds to 12 acre land owners’ approval was not taken formally, besides did not inform the districts about the decision through a notification.

Currently, he said, the KP Ehtesab Commission has started inquiry against the petitioners claiming that a massive embezzlement has been recorded in the seeds distribution. 

He informed the court that it was proved from the record that 92 percent farmers of three acre land were benefitted from the program while 8 percent farmers of 12 acre land also benefited.

The court issued an order by which the KPEC was restrained from taking any action and sought reply from KPEC before next hearing.