ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) approached the Supreme Court on Saturday to challenge the Nov 27, 2020 Balochistan High Court (BHC) order, which had confirmed pre-arrest bail of former speaker of Balochistan Assembly Jan Mohammad Jamali.
The petition was filed before the Supreme Court through NAB Prosecutor General Syed Asghar Haider with a request to set aside the BHC order.
According to the petition, NAB received a complaint on July 14, 2015 about illegal appointments in the Balochistan Assembly secretariat and alleged nepotism by ignoring merit and initiated an inquiry against the assembly authorities.
The petition recalls that different advertisements were published in the newspapers on Nov 14, 2014 and Nov 19, 2014 for appointments in the assembly secretariat and candidates were called for test and interview. A total of 82 appointments were made in the Balochistan Assembly against the advertisements, including two promotions.
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The petition says that the number of candidates appointed against different posts was more than the advertised posts, besides 25 posts were created in a meeting of the finance committee on April 27, 2015 and 12 posts were increased due to promotions in different cadre.
But the posts were increased after the minutes of the meeting were issued and selection of the remaining candidates was done in anticipation of posts to be increased as mentioned in the minutes of the meeting, the petition alleges.
According to the method of appointment by initial recruitment as mentioned in the Provincial Assembly Secretariat (Recruitment) Rules 2009, the appointment by initial recruitment to the posts in BS-16 and above is made on the recommendation of a selection committee, consisting of not less than three members and to be constituted by the speaker, the petition says.
Under Rule 10, the speaker was appointing authority for posts in BS-16 and above and the Balochistan Assembly secretary for other posts in BS-15 and below.
The petition says that during the investigation, the members of the selection committee confessed before NAB that they were forced into recruiting the candidates with no regard for merit and transparency.
They revealed to the investigation team that tests were conducted but Hashim Kakar, the then coordination officer of the assembly secretariat, took the answer sheets and later gave the selection committee the lists of candidates who were to be called for interview.
Interviews were conducted by the members of the selection committee in the office of the secretary of Balochistan Assembly of the candidates as per list given by Kakar, the petition alleges.
After interviews, another list was provided to the members of the selection committee with verbal directives to include in the minutes of the committee meeting names of the candidates recommended in the given list, the petition says.
Mr Kakar, allegedly the right hand of Mr Jamali, was promoted as director coordination and though the director coordination had nothing to do with the recruitment process, the notifications about appointments of the candidates were copied to him. This showed that Mr Kakar, the petition alleges, had personal interest in these appointments.
The members of the selection committee also revealed that no notification for the selection committee members was issued during the process of selection of the candidates. In fact, the notification was issued in back date after NAB initiated the inquiry and requisitioned the record, the petition alleges.
Fearing arrest, Mr Jamali approached the BHC which granted him interim pre-arrest bail on Sept 14, 2020 and later confirmed it.
Subsequently National Accountability Bureau approached the Supreme Court for cancellation of the bail.
Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2021