Fixing an honest bureaucrat

Fixing an honest bureaucrat

Synopsis

Sindh govt could not execute plan to punish DG KDA Asif Ali Memon for raising voice against CM in SC

Fixing an honest bureaucrat
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A district court recently threw out a corruption case against DG KDA, Asif Ali Memon, who was arrested soon soon after the registration of FIR against him by provincial Anti-Corruption Establishment.

However, as the Bol News dug deeper into the case,  an interesting background of his arrest and failed attempt to persecute him came to fore.

During  a Supreme Court hearing at its Karachi registry in October last year, Asif Memon had complained to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed that honest officers were frequently transferred from their posts by the Sindh Government as they refused to obey illegal orders from its ministers and the chief minister. On the very next day, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah appeared before the apex court to explain the financial difficulties his government was facing in rehabilitating the effectives of Gujjar Nullah and other major water drains in the city.

But when the Chief Minster mentioned dearth of senior officers that the province was facing due to certain policies of the federal government, the Chief Justice of Pakistan reminded him that the other day DG KDA was complaining of not being allowed to work impartially and he was just holding on to his post through a stay order of the provincial high court.

This, apparently, annoyed the provincial government which already had an axe to grind with DG KDA for not resisting his transfer and challenging the same before the Sindh High Court to eventually obtain a stay order.

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While Asif Memon made an oral complaint against the Chief Minister and the minster for local government before the Chief Justice of Pakistan, in the SHC his complaint was part of his written pleadings.

In August 2021, when Asif was working as Special Secretary, School Education and Literacy Department of the Sindh government, he was transferred and posted as DG KDA, a regular post of grade 20. Subsequently he was given additional charge of Special Secretary, School Education and Literacy Department of the Sindh government.

Just two months after taking charge as DG KDA, which is purely a cadre post, on October 12, 2021, he was transferred and posted as Secretary, School Education and Literacy Department of the Sindh government.

Claiming that his entire service tenure has remained unblemished and flawless and no complaint against him was ever been made, Asif alleged that his frequent transfers were the result of political maneuvering and aimed at pushing him out to accommodate influential officers who were in the good books of Sindh government.

Just a week after getting a stay order against his transfer, Asif Memon divulged in the Supreme Court that the provincial government tried to post a grade 19 officer, who was earlier posted as additional secretary minorities’ affairs department,  in his place by giving him additional charge of DG KDA, which was a clear violation of the apex court ruling in Anita Turab case.

Arrest and release: Just a few days after the apex court ordered registration of criminal cases against the officials who were involved in giving permission for construction of Nasla Tower, the private tv channels in the morning of December 30, 2021 flashed headlines about the registration of cases against the DG KDA and his two deputies, giving an impression that the officers had been booked for giving permission for the construction of Nasla Tower.

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However, when the DG and a deputy director were brought before the Additional District and Session Judge Shahid Ali for remand, it transpired that DG KDA was arrested for allegedly not agreeing to relieve his two deputy directors because they were being forcibly transferred.

The court subsequently gave them into police custody for only one day and directed inspector of provincial Anti-Corruption Establishment to produce them the next day.

The next day, before presenting them before the judge, the inspector who is also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, tried to handcuff DG KDA which he resisted. Later, DG KDA Asif Memon while talking to media, claimed he is being persecuted because he is not part of the corrupt system.

Asif’s counsel Khawaja Shamsul Islam, while opposing the remand, submitted before the judge that his client was being punished for not being part of the corrupt system run by the provincial chief minister and minister for local government.

The IO in support of his remand presented a witness who was an employee of the provincial Anti-Corruption Establishment. However, when confronted by the judge, the employee said that he was not an employee of Anti-Corruption Establishment.

Holding that the charges mentioned in the FIR against the DG KDA could only entail a departmental proceedings and no corruption case is made out against Asif, the judge discharged the case against him using his special powers.

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DG KDA Asif Ali Memon would now appear before the Supreme Court of Pakistan which is expected to have a session at its Karachi Registry very soon to hear several human rights cases. It would be interesting to see what the provincial government would have to say in its defence when the DG KDA would raise the issue of bullying and arrest by a junior officer who also tried to handcuff him.

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