ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court has fixed the matter of alleged fake degree of accountability’s watchdog’s Director General (DG) Lahore Shahzad Saleem for hearing on November 12.

The matter of Saleem's degree was brought up in the apex court last year during the hearing of a suo motu case on alleged illegal appointments within NAB.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will hear the case while the other members of the bench are Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.

The petitioner, Asad Kharal, in his petition has claimed that master’s degree of Saleem carrying transcript from 2002 is in the Calibri font, which was not commercially available until five years later. The top court has also issued a notice to the petitioner Asad Kharal.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB), after an internal probe, had deemed Saleem's degree genuine and cleared him.

The case, however, is pending adjudication before the top court which will be heard on Monday.  It is pertinent to mention here that DG NAB Lahore Shehzad Saleem also survived another inquiry regarding his promotion.

According to a report of the Committee, a copy of which is available with The Nation, it was recommended that NAB may reconsider the case of Saleem for his promotion.

The Committee, which is headed by Secretary Establishment, was formed by Supreme Court in a suo moto case regarding illegalities, contraventions and violations within NAB. The Committee submitted its compliance report in May 2018 and DG NAB Lahore Shehzad Saleem is now a Grade 21 officer.

According to the report Saleem was issued a show-cause notice stating, “you (Saleem) were required to possess seven (07) years service in BPS-18 for promotion to the post of Additional Director (BPS-19) whereas you got promotion as Additional Director (BPS-19) w.e.f. 31-12-2003 through a Selection Board held on 31-12-2003 without completion of requisite length of NAB’s service.”

Moreover, the crux of the show-cause notice for Saleem’s appointment by promotion as director (BPS-20) further stated that the officer got promotion without requisite length of NAB’s service.

Saleem responded to the show-cause notice stating that the premise on which these promotions were based, and relying upon which the officers working in Armed Forces and other various departments of the govt had based their decision to opt for rendering their services to the newly formed NAB by way of transferring their services to the same, was that their previous length of service would also be transferred to NAB and would be counted towards their promotions.

In replying to the show-cause notice, he further contended that when NAB was in formative years and required to induct competent persons from other services, competent authority approved counting of previous service of all employees who were inducted in NAB from other government department.

On brief reply of Saleem, the Committee also gave its findings. The Committee observed, “Mr. Shehzad Saleem was promoted as Director (BS-20), on regular basis, after rendering 5 years and 1 months service in BS-18 & above in NAB. The PER Grading & Quantification Form placed before Selection Board meeting, held on 15-10-2008 discerns that PERs for the last 11 years were quantified to workout the threshold by taking into account 11 PERs of the officer’s previous service other than NAB, which was inconsistent with Sections 2.01 (xiii), 2.01 (xxxv), 3.25 of NAB Employees TCS 2002 and NAB’s MAQ 2002, as well as Promotion Policy, under which 12 years regular cadre service of NAB in BS-18 & above was required to be counted for promotion to the post of Director (BS-20) on regular basis.”

“The Committee, therefore, recommends that NAB may, in the first place, reconsider the case for promotion of the officer (Saleem) from BS-18 to BS-19, on regular basis, when he actually becomes eligible subject to completion of prescribed length of service and mandatory training in accordance with NAB Rules/ Promotion policy and thereafter, reconsider his further promotion to BS-20, accordingly in the light of decision arrived at in case of his promotion to BS-19.”