LAHORE Sitting DCO Ahad Cheemas earlier posting as Secretary of Higher Education Department was unusual and it happened for the first time in the history of the provincial bureaucracy, the Judicial Commission probing irregularities in the Intermediate results heard on Wednesday. New HED Secretary Ijaz Munir told the Commission that the post, normally reserved for a grade-20 officer, was doled out to Mr Ahad, who then was serving in grade-18. He is now in grade-19. Ahad, who was also present during the hearing, was seen wiping sweat from his forehead over and over again. It is not a normal practice to appoint a grade-18 officer on a grade-20 post. I do not know about any such example in the province, said Ijaz, when the Commissions Chairman Justice Shahid Saeed questioned about the appointment of Mr Cheema. The commission, probing flaws in matriculation and intermediate results, recorded the statements of Ijaz Munir and Ahad Cheem, now Lahore district coordination officer, who appeared following its orders. Ijaz informed the commission that no record or notification regarding the appointment of Majid Naeem as IT consultant was found in the department and Majid had used strict language in the circulars issued to all chairmen of Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education. Fearing from the Majid Naeems circulars, the chairmen had not pointed out in written about the errors and flaws and this situation created all the disturbance and agitation. Ijaz said there were faults in the online examination system but many computer experts of some education boards had minimized them. At this the judge said the issuance of threatening circulars had handicapped chairmen of education boards and restrained them from making any results on their own. According to minutes of meeting of Punjab boards committee of chairmen, the PBCC had given two installments of Rs125,000 each to Majid Naeem as expert fee. Rs0.5 million was to be given to Majid as expert fee, Ijaz further informed the commission. On his turn, the former secretary of the HED, appeared before the commission along with a local lawyer, but the chairman of the Commission ordered the lawyer to leave the room as he was not invited. He left the room. Ahad Cheema raised objection before the commission that it could not discus the issue of his appointment as secretary HED because the Commission had been formed just to scrutinize the errors occurred during intermediate results for the year 2010 and 2011. Meanwhile, Cheema submitted his 11-page report before the Commission and again took the stance that the Commission could not discuss the issue of his appointment as the HEC secretary because it was irrelevant. He tried his best to convince the Commission regarding his appointment, but in vain. Explaining his point of view, Cheema said, There was no provision in the rules for appointment of a grade-18 officer on the post of grade 20. It was the discretion of the competent authority the Punjab chief minister. He said that he was not a grade-18 officer. I was in Acting 19 grade, which is a promotion charge before being given a regular grade 19. But the judge said if he was not given grade 19 on regular basis, he could not be asked a grade 19 officer. It is common practice in the Punjab bureaucracy to appoint a lower grade officer on higher posts due to the shortage of competent officer in the province, Cheema revealed. He stated that he had no role in the appointment of Majid Naeem as IT consultant. The PBCC had terminated computer technician Yousaf Hamdani in July 2010 and appointed Majid to handle the whole process of online examination system and computerization of all eight education boards of province. At a query, Cheema said Majid was not his class fellow and Kashmiri was also not his teacher. No one investigated about the previous record and repute of Majid before his appointment, DCO said adding that PBCC was antonymous body. This statement irked Justice Shahid Saeed and he remarked Does it mean that Punjab government can appoint any tom dick and Harry on its sweat will to a higher office.