PESHAWAR    -   Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered departmental inquiries against the officers and other subordinate staff of the provincial government departments responsible for delay and time-barred implementation of appeals on different pretexts.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmad, Justice Ijazul Hasan and Justice Faisal Arab issued the orders while hearing appeals filed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in various cases.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court bench expressed concerns that most of the government related appeals were time-barred and had been pending for a long time. 

The bench asked the Advocate General Shumail Ahmad Butt why it happened mostly in government related cases and appeals. The advocate general said that under the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), such appeals which were time-barred due to the negligence of the authorities concerned were not filed in the Supreme Court. In his remarks, Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmad said that apparently this practice was done deliberately so that the relief-seeking persons could not get any relief on time.

Shumail Ahmad Butt explained that under the Supreme Court of Pakistan directives, the provincial government had initiated departmental inquiries against 196 officers and lower staff of different provincial government departments. “And if necessary the provincial government would recover financial losses these officers had caused to the exchequer,” the advocate general further said.

Later, the SC bench approved an appeal pertaining to the employees of Mardan Development Authority and set aside the decision of Peshawar High Court in this regard.

Similarly, the honourable bench dismissed provincial government’s appeal against the restoration of some employees of Textbook Board Peshawar. The provincial government had taken the plea that these employees were terminated from their services due to mistakes and errors in the textbooks. The employees were restored by Peshawar High Court against whom the provincial government had filed appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

During the trial, Justice Ijazul Hasan in his remarks questioned how a few people were declared guilty for errors in published books when the whole staff was responsible for it. 

He added that there must be proofreading and review of unpublished materials while subject specialists be outsourced for reviewing prior to publication of the textbooks.