SC stays CDA chairman’s transfer

ISLAMABAD, March 18: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday restrained the government from transferring Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaj while hearing a suo motu case about the transfer of Mr Shahbaz as additional secretary production stayed the order of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Asharf.

The government had on March 16 ordered the transfer of Mr Shahbaz and replaced him with the chief commissioner Islamabad Tariq Mehmood Prizada.

The court initially summoned Nargis Sethi, the secretary cabinet division, but she informed the judges that the prime minister through his principal secretary Mohammad Ayub Qazi had conveyed the transfer order to the secretary establishment Taimur Azmat Usman. The court ordered production of all the posting and transfer orders issued on the last day of the assemblies.Ms Sethi said the prime minister’s orders were yet to be implemented and both the officials – Mr Shahbaz and Mr Pirzada – were working on their previous positions.

After Mr Usman was summoned to the court, he claimed that the principal secretary to the prime minister had told him that Mr Shahbaz himself wanted transfer. When the bench asked the CDA chairman whether he had made any request for his transfer, he denied.

“In fact, I was resisting the unlawful orders of the superiors and had offered them to transfer me if they wanted some undue favours from the CDA.”

The secretary establishment said the principal secretary had been insisting since March 13 on transferring Mr Shahbaz but he did not issue the order till the afternoon of March 16.

According to him, about 25 officers were transferred or posted to different departments that day.

The court restrained him from transferring all these officers and directed him to provide details of the transfers and postings by Tuesday (today).

Meanwhile, talking to the CDA officers and mediapersons, the CDA chairman said he would utilise all his resources and capabilities wherever he was posted.

“The Supreme Court has shown confidence in me so all officers and employees should work hard and with honesty to prove that it was a right decision,” he said.

Director planning Arshad Chohan said the chairman CDA’s efforts to eradicate corruption and ensure merit in the organisation were commendable. He said the CDA officers were optimistic that under the guidance of the chairman the organisation would regain its past glory. — Also contributed by Ikram Junaidi.