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Protest of bureaucrats against NAB unbearable: CJP.

Byline: FIDA HUSSNAIN

LAHORE -- Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar Saturday restrained Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS) officers from holding protest against National Accountability Bureau over the arrest of their colleague Ahad Khan Cheema, warning any officer could tender his resignation but pressurising the bureau couldn't be allowed.

The chief justice of Pakistan also sought complete service record of former LDA DG Ahad Khan Cheema, including his salary, perks and privileges, from the Punjab government. Justice Mansoor Ahmad Malik and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were the other members of the bench.

The bench passed the order while hearing a case of LDA City Housing Scheme which was initially approved during the period of Ahad Khan Cheema as DG.

The CJP also took exception to a recent resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly against anti-corruption watchdog in context of arrest of former LDA DG Cheema.

'If any officer wants to resign, he can do so before us and we'll get it approved,' the chief justice remarked. 'Pressurising NAB cannot be tolerated,' he further remarked when LDA Director General Zahid Akhtar Zaman was explaining the details of the LDA City project.

The bureaucrats had shown a strong reaction against the arrest of their colleague Cheema, but currently, they are not holding protest or observing strike.

However, the CJP restrained the National Accountability Bureau from harassing anyone and directed the bureaucrats to cooperate with the anti-corruption watchdog whenever needed and stop their strike.

Referring to the resolution passed by the provincial assembly against the NAB , the CJP observed, 'Tell your political bosses to pass another resolution against the Supreme Court for summoning you (bureaucrats).'

'Where is Ahad Khan Cheema nowadays?' the CJP asked Zaman who replied he was into NAB's custody. To another query about his salary, perks and privileges, the chief secretary said Cheema was the head of Quaid-e-Azam Thermal Power Company and had recently been promoted to BS-20. He added Cheema had been drawing around Rs 125,000 as a public servant and nearly Rs 1.4 million from the public-sector company's employment. The CJP directed the chief secretary to submit complete service profile of Cheema.

About LDA City Housing Scheme, the chief justice observed there were complaints that citizens were forced to sell their land to the project.

'The affairs of the project appeared to be shady,' the CJP remarked. 'Had the NAB not taken notice of the complaints against the LDA City scheme, the Supreme Court would have done so,' the chief justice said.

LDA DG Zaman, however, denied having received any such complaint against the project during his tenure, on which the CJP directed the LDA director general to submit complete record of the housing scheme along with relevant rules under which the project of public-private partnership was launched. The bench also issued notices to other six private companies/developers engaged in the project on Ferozepur Road. The court adjourned further hearing until March 8.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Mar 4, 2018
Words:556
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