MIAN DAWOOD

LAHORE – The government employees have become rolling stones after the 18th Amendment and they are forced to knock at the doors of courts to get relief, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed observed here on Monday.The chief Justice was hearing a contempt petition of a retired officer of ministry of population, devolved after the 18th amendment and transferred to provinces. Petitioner Syed Safadar Hussain sought contempt proceedings against cabinet division officials who denied paying move-over allowance for the year of 1992 despite court orders.Cabinet Division Superintendent Muhammad Aamir and other officers appeared and told the court that the federal government could issue directions for the payment of Safdar Hussain’s allowance because the said ministry had been devolved.“It is now the duty of Punjab’s population department to pay the allowance of the petitioner,” Aamir further told the court.This answer irked the court that admonished the officials for flatly refusing the court orders. The chief justice remarked that it was their (officials) duty to decide that rather federal government would pay the petitioner’s allowance or Punjab government. The court ordered on previous hearing the cabinet division to pay the allowance but it did not do so, the chief justice remarked.“Now tell, will you all like to go Adyala Jail or obey the court orders to pay the allowance of petitioner. I know that about 100 same cases are pending before the cabinet division” the chief justice further remarked.Governments were very enthusiastic to pass the 18th Constitutional Amendment but unaware about it’s after effects, chief justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed observed adding the government employees were now wandering here and there for the solutions of problems but no one was paying heed.At this, the cabinet officials sought more time to find an appropriate solution about payments of move-over allowance to the employees.The court accepted their request and allowed 15 days to decide the all 100 cases besides the case of petitioner, also warned that the contempt notice would be issued to cabinet division secretary on next date of hearing (Feb 21).