Two officials posted in Nadra without establishment division’s approval
By: Imran Ali Teepu
ISLAMABAD: The much talked-about case of posting of two deputy chairmen of Grade-20 by Interior Minister Rehman Malik in the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) took a new turn when it was learnt that no consent was sought from the establishment division before issuing the orders.
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly Nadeem Afzal Gondal had taken up the matter on Dec 13 and declared the appointments illegal and directed the interior ministry to withdraw the notification about the postings within five days.
But one of the deputy chairmen approached the Islamabad High Court which restrained the interior ministry from withdrawing the notification.
Under the rules, the establishment division has the authority to issue orders for posting of Grade-19 and -20 officers.
Ali Murad, a high court lawyer, told Dawn: “A federal minister has no authority to appoint Grade 20 officers even in a department attached to his ministry without approval of the establishment division.”
He said that even for hiring an official on deputation a requisition had to be sent to his parent department.
An official of the interior ministry wrote to the Nadra chairman in July this year when Rehman Malik was working as Senior Adviser to Prime Minister for Interior: “I have been directed to convey that Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior has been pleased to direct that in view of extraordinary work of Nadra regarding preparation of electoral rolls and issuance of refugee cards to Afghan nationals, it is necessary to have two deputy chairmen in Nadra.”
Members of the Nadra Authority Board refused to entertain the request and maintained: “The Interior Division has no authority under Nadra Ordinance 2000 to appoint any employee including deputy chairman. The board expressed that their reservations may be conveyed to the Interior Ministry.”
In his letter to Interior Secretary Khawaja Siddique Akbar, the Nadra chairman said: “The appointment of deputy chairmen in Nadra headquarters was discussed by Nadra’s Authority Board on Oct 4, 2012 wherein, Board has unanimously resolved that under Nadra Ordinance 2000, Ministry of Interior has no authority to appoint any employee including deputy chairmen in Nadra.”
Interior Minister Rehman Malik or Establishment Secretary Taimoor Azmat or any official of Nadra could not be contacted for their comments despite several attempts.