27 officials convicted of corruption removed, SHC told

Jamal Khurshid
Sunday, Oct 10, 2021

KARACHI: As many as 27 government officers of Grade-17 and above, who were still working in different government departments despite conviction on the corruption charges, have been removed from their posts, reports submitted by the Sindh government at the Sindh High Court revealed.

The reports were filed by the secretaries and focal persons of different departments in compliance with the court orders.

Earlier, the SHC had ordered the removal of all the convicted officials of Sindh government, who were on bail during pendency of appeals in the corruption cases, from any posting in the government departments.

The secretaries and focal persons of different departments submitted that one director of school was posted out from the Education Department, 10 officers were removed from the Revenue Department, one officer was removed from the Forest Department, three officers from the Local Government Department, seven officers from the Irrigation Department and one from the Excise Department.

They submitted that two officers, including former cane commissioner and one officer from the Labour Department were removed from their posts, who were convicted and their appeals were pending before the appellate forum. The SHC’s division bench, comprising Justice Salahuddin Panhwar and Justice Adnanul Karim Memon, regretted that despite convictions on charges of corruption, the Sindh government posted about 27 officers of Grade-17 and above on key posts although the convictions on such charges always reflect upon credibility of the persons.

The court observed that it was always requirement of good order of service of discipline that no such convicted be allowed to hold posts where he directly holds command over matters of public, involving fundamental rights even.

The court directed the secretaries of all the departments of Sindh to ensure compliance of the court order as well as earlier order and submit a compiled statement through the focal persons. The order said that the court was only confined to the officers who are convicted and at present they are on bail, but they are posted, whereas the conviction is yet to be decided by the Appellate Court as well.

The additional secretary services undertook that all the convicted persons, if released on bail, will not be posted in any department.

The petitions were filed against the services of government officers, who were still working on the government jobs despite they entered into voluntarily return (VR) and plea bargain with the NAB in the corruption inquires and references.

The special prosecutor NAB had filed a compliance report mentioning that 494 government officials have entered into VR, 41 officials entered into plea bargain, 108 officials have been charged with corruption and corrupt practices and 71 officials were convicted under the NAB law and their appeals were pending before the high court.

The prosecutor told the court that the list of officials whose appeals were pending before the Supreme Court was awaited from the NAB headquarter, Islamabad which will be submitted soon after receiving from the concerned department.