PHC stops KP govt inquiries against acting DG of Pipos

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PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday stopped proceedings in the provincial government inquiries against acting director general of Pakistan Institute of Prosthetic and Orthotic Sciences (Pipos) regarding harassment of a female employee of the institute.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan stopped proceedings in inquiries of provincial government against the director general Pipos and sought replies from the provincial government and secretary of Health Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The bench issued directions in a writ petition filed by Dr Liaqat Ali, acting director general of Pipos, through his lawyer Qazi Jawad Ihsanullah. During hearing, the petitioner’s lawyer submitted before the bench that a female employee of the institute, Nusrat Naheed, had filed a complaint against the petitioner under the Harassment of Women Act at Workplace 2010 in the department.
The lawyer submitted that inquiry on the complaint of the female employee was pending and in the meantime the Provincial Action Committee took cognizance of the matter in April 2015 and secretary health formed a committee to inquire the matter.
The inquiry committee under the provincial government, he said, has declared that it was not a case of sexual harassment as the female employee complained against him of mental harassment. The committee exonerated him of charges but suggested his transfer to other place within the district.
The lawyer submitted that the provincial government then formed other two inquiry committees on the unanimous complaints about the harassment case and asked the chairman Pipos to produce the petitioner before the committees.
The lawyer submitted that Pipos is a statutory body and the provincial government has no jurisdiction under the law to take cognizance of the matter. He said the Pipos chairman had asked the provincial government that the department formed its own inquiry committee and the provincial government could send its representative to the committee.
About the issue, the lawyer submitted that the female employee was first elected as Pipos employees’ union president and she was then removed from the president seat through vote of no-confidence moved by the petitioner.
He submitted that she in revenge of political differences filed complaint against the petitioner regarding harassment at workplace.
The lawyer requested the court to stop the provincial government inquiries as the government under the law has no jurisdiction and power to take cognizance of the matter and initiate inquiries one after another against the petitioner. The bench, after preliminary hearing, stopped the proceedings of the inquiries and sought reply from the provincial government within 14 days.