Islamabad - The Supreme Court has, once again, restored Dr Shehnaz A Riaz to her grade-20 position as director general of Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), declaring her transfer orders illegal.

The court declared her transfer orders issued by former secretary of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) as void ab initio and directed the incumbent CADD secretary to withdraw the orders.

On Tuesday a two-member Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Ameer Hani Muslim set aside Islamabad High Court’s orders that had upheld the decision of former CADD Secretary Faridullah Khan. The apex court ruled that only Establishment Division could transfer Dr Shehnaz A Riaz from the post of DG and CADD secretary had no powers to bypass the Establishment Division.

Dr Shehnaz Riaz told the court that she had not been allowed to join her seat since her promotion to grade-20. She was transferred to special education department as DG last year but there too officials did not allow her to assume charge. “I have been wandering between various departments for the last eight months and my salary has also been stopped. In this patriarchal society I have been restrained to step ahead in my career,” she complained.

The Federal Directorate of Education that looks after around 424 schools and colleges in Islamabad Capital Territory has been going through a multitude of crises for the last many years as several DGs were appointed and relived at short intervals, some for barely a few weeks. Finally, the CADD on November 24, 2014 had appointed Amir Ashraf Khawaja as permanent DG of FDE.

Secretary CADD Khalid Hanif said the CADD has been waiting for the written orders from court. “As soon as we receive it, it will be implemented.”

Earlier, CADD on February 13, 2014 had transferred FDE DG Shahnaz A Riaz from the post on the pretext of an inquiry that had partially proved misuse of power and irregularities of funds of evening shifts schools by her. This was the second time that she was removed from the post of DG by the education managers. Dr Riaz due to be appointed as DG since 2001 was appointed by the Supreme Court as DG FDE in 2010 but after 10 days she was transferred to Academy of Education Planning and Management (AEPAM) in February 2010. The apex court had repatriated her to her parent department as DG FDE in May 2012. This time she was removed on graft charges and was not allowed to continue as DG and complete her term.

She moved Islamabad High Court against her removal pleading that only Establishment Division can remove her being a 20-grade officer and only the prime minister can appoint DG FDE. She had also maintained that she was being transferred out of the FDE in violation of a court verdict from 2012, when she was previously reinstated.

But on June 16, 2014 while rejecting Dr Shehnaz Riaz’s petition, the IHC noted that CADD secretary was the competent authority and could transfer the petitioner.