MIAN DAWOOD

LAHORE – The Lahore High Court on Tuesday restrained the Advocate General of Punjab from defending the contemptuous Secretary Energy, who disgraced the judiciary by writing derogatory recommendations to the chief minister in his inquiry report.

Earlier, Chief Secretary Nasir Mahmood Khosa, Secretary Energy Rab Nawaz Khan and acting Secretary Health appeared before the court. They were accompanied by AGP Ashtar Ausaf.

Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan restrained the Advocate General while hearing a petition filed by Umer Hayat, a Head Clerk working at Khanewal EDO’s office. He had been recommended for removal from services by the Secretary Energy in the latter’s inquiry report. On a query, the AGP told the court the chief secretary had nothing to do with the inquiry report. “It was not forwarded to him,” he said and requested the court to exempt the CS from personal appearance. The court accepted this request. After succeeding in his bid, the AGP came to the rescue of the secretary energy and the secretary health. Despite submitting a report regarding any action against the secretary energy, the AGP requested the court to also exempt both these secretaries. The court, however, turned down this request, warning him not to defend those officers who have no respect for the judiciary.

“Don’t defend the secretary energy and secretary health. I think that you (AGP) have not studied the derogatory recommendations in the inquiry report. You (AGP) are an officer of court and you should not defend those officers who insult the judiciary.” Justice Khan observed that it was the matter of judiciary’s respect and the court would not tolerate it. The court will summons every officer and person to whom this insulting report was forwarded, Justice Khan concluded his observations.

In the inquiry report, submitted before the court, the secretary energy had raised objections over the involvement in the executive’s matters of the judiciary and the Service Tribunals, declaring it an embarrassment for the government. The court had on Feb 09 termed the report as an insult to the judiciary and issued contempt notices to secretary energy and secretary health.

Hayat in his application had submitted that the Punjab government had appointed Rab Nawaz for inquiry against EDO Muhammad Hussain Naqvi and other officials — Kizar Hayat, Shaukat Hayat and Rana Saleem — on the charges of financial irregularities. However, the secretary energy recommended the removal of the petitioner from service without hearing him.

Some of the contents of the report are: “[The] [j]udiciary’s interference in the executive’s matters is happening everyday in hundreds of cases in other department [sic]. So, it’s about time that the Punjab government takes [sic] up this issue with the appropriate levels in the judiciary and Service Tribunal for fresh ‘limits’ of the respective spheres and a mutually agreed policy.”