The Sindh High Court has directed the chief secretary to ensure that the civil servants facing corruption or disciplinary proceedings should not get a posting or an administrative assignment till the references against them are concluded in accordance with the law.
The direction came on a petition filed by Haji Ayaz Memon against government officers getting postings despite facing NAB references or other departmental proceedings. The court had directed the chief secretary to submit complete details of cases against civil servants who despite facing disciplinary proceedings or criminal cases are holding the office. Subsequently, the chief secretary filed a report in this regard.
The SHC’s division bench, headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar, after perusal of the report, observed that prima facie all civil servants were serving in the Sindh government despite the fact that among them were such government officials who were facing NAB references based on alleged corrupt practices and/or criminal or disciplinary proceedings. The court observed that such civil servants were not entitled under the law to perform their duties and to have a posting.
The court directed the chief secretary to ensure that all such civil servants shall not be giving any posting or administrative assignment till the reference/cases pending against them were concluded in accordance with the law. The court directed the chief secretary to submit a written explanation as to why such civil servants were promoted and/or allowed to continue with their postings and duties in violation of the law laid down by the SC.
The court said the number of cases with regard to disciplinary proceedings against government employees had not been decided or concluded within a reasonable time and due to this reason, the cases of their promotion had been deferred. The court observed that such unnecessary delay on part of the relevant department caused hardship to the government servants, uncertainty within the department and unnecessary litigation before the courts.
The court directed the Sindh government to ensure that in future, action must be taken under rule 5 of the Sindh Civil Servants (efficiency and discipline) Rules against all civil servants who were facing disciplinary or criminal proceedings and in case of disciplinary proceedings against them, the case must be decided expeditiously in accordance with the law.
The bench, however, made clear that if a government servant was exonerated of the charge levelled against them, they shall be given the treatment provided in the Sindh Civil Servant laws.
The court issued notice to the chief secretary with direction to submit a comprehensive compliance report as well as explanation in terms of the court order in respect of each civil servant facing corruption, criminal or disciplinary proceedings.