LAHORE - A petition was moved to the Lahore High Court on Friday against the Punjab Education Foundation (PEF) for giving one-time exemption to its 80 employees, including senior officers, whose degrees and experience certificates could not be verified from the Higher Education Commission and other departments.

The petitioner, Chaudhry Shoaib Saleem, filed the petition and said that more than 1,000 employees were working in the PEF and verification of their degrees and experience certificates was mandatory as per the Contract Appointment Rules 2005 during the first three months of their service.

According to the documents provided to the petitioner as per the Right to Information Act, verification of degrees and experience certificates of all employees was carried out by the PEF, however, degrees and experience certificates of 80 employees from lower staff to directors could not be verified by the PEF authorities, he added.

Shoaib said that instead of terminating all such employees or initiating inquiry against them, the PEF Board of Directors held a meeting on 13 May 2016 and gave exemption to all such employees to give them legal protection with retrospective effect so that no disciplinary action could be taken against them in future as well.

The petitioner said it was a unique example of corruption and favouritism in any public department where 80 persons including senior officers are drawing a salary in millions notwithstanding their educational certificates are either deficient, fake or unverified.

The petitioner contended that all such appointments are completely illegal and tantamount to making mockery of justice by giving them one-time exemption from verification of their degrees.

 

Such illegal and unlawful appointments have not only damaged the reputation of the organisation but also dented the national exchequer by a long margin. The total financial loss to the PEF and the government of the Punjab caused by these illegalities stands at Rs500 million, he added.

The petitioner prayed to the court to declare the act of PEF Board of Directors to give exemption to all these employees as illegal and terminate them from service forthwith.