RTI Commission issues show-cause notice to official

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PESHAWAR: The Right to Information (RTI) Commission has issued show-cause notice to a deputy secretary who is public information officer in Higher Education Department and directed him to submit reply within 14 days as to why orders regarding provision of information to some officials were not followed.
The RTI Commission issued the show-cause notice to Deputy Secretary Muhammad Hayat on August 31 for non-compliance with the orders. “Now, therefore, you are directed to show cause as to why a fine of Rs25,000 should not be imposed on you in the letter and spirit of section 26 (3)(b) of the RTI Act 2013,” the notice stated.
It said the deputy secretary had received a request from Ghulam Ali and Dr Ghulam Qasim Marwat on August 18 for provision of information regarding attendance sheet of the four accused officers, including the applicants, and 151 accused officials of the HED under the RTI Act 2013.
It was stated that the deputy secretary has neither provided information nor certificate of non-availability to the complainants till date.The future of the four officers of the HED and 151 employees of the government colleges is hanging in the balance due to what they claimed faulty inquiry by the authorities.
The applicants had sought relevant information from the department concerned through the RTI Commission to know about the progress in their case at the departmental level.On the PHC orders, the services of 151 employees were terminated after an inquiry over preparation of fake high court stay order by the HED officials and then appointment of the 151 employees on the basis of political affiliation.
The PHC judgment was later challenged at the Supreme Court, which set aside the decision on February 3, 2014. However, the department was allowed to conduct a fresh inquiry, if needed, but the exercise had to be completed within six months.
The inquiry committee instead of preparing fresh charge-sheet against the accused used the earlier charge-sheet prepared on the judgment of the PHC against the officers, including Director Higher Education Teachers Training Academy (HETTA) Ghulam Qasim Marwat, ex-additional director HED Kala Khan, ex-deputy director Ghulam Ali and deputy directress Zobia Qamar.
During the inquiry, the HED through letters in 2014 clarified to the Establishment Department that innocence of its accused officers was proved in the court and it was established that there had been no malpractices in the process. It argued that the charge-sheets issued on the basis of ACE charges had lost validity.
However, the Law Department opined that the case could be filed. It was learnt that the inquiry was not conducted by the committee approved by the chief minister. Consequently, show-cause notices were served on the officers of HED on June 19, 2015 but Clause-V of the “specimen show-cause notice” was deleted and the accused were denied copy of the inquiry report.
The accused officers claimed they had submitted 100 percent rebuttal
of charges against them but the file was put in cold storage. They submitted joint representation to the chief secretary regarding their undue victimisation, but it is still under process in the Establishment Department.
The notifications of the deputy secretary colleges reveal that Kala Khan was chairman of selection committee while Habibur Rehman, deputy secretary colleges, and Zobia Qamar, deputy directress, were members of the committee, but amazingly instead of charge-sheeting the responsible officer, ie Habibur Rehman, the HED charge-sheeted an irrelevant officer Ghulam Ali, former deputy director colleges, despite the fact that the court had already acquitted him of the charges.
Despite proving his innocence in the courts, his case was thrice deferred from promotion to grade-19 due to the pending inquiry.Once again, action was recommended against 151 employees and officers, but authorities kept the inquiry pending as it wasn’t properly conducted and was in violation of Supreme Court order.However, it was learnt from reliable sources that the HED was not providing the record as inquiries was again conducted against the rules and by irrelevant persons.