SC declares 238 appointments in EOBI illegal; orders probe

* Court says appointment of son-in-law of Raja Pervez Ashraf made through nepotism * Directs NAB to launch action against those responsible

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has declared 238 appointments, including that of Raja Azim ul Haq, son-in-law of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, in the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) as void.
The court has ordered NAB to take action against those behind the appointment of Raja Azim. A three-member bench of SC headed by Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali took up EOBI illegal appointments case for hearing on Monday. The court observed that all these appointments have been made on the basis of favouritism and nepotism and beyond rules and regulations. It held former EOBI chairman Zafar Gondal responsible for these appointments. The court also ordered filling of the vacant posts in accordance with the rules, regulations and quota.
The bench ruled that one person filed a petition in the Supreme Court in person on February 2, 2011 against illegal appointments in EOBI wherein it was said that 213 persons were appointed in grade 16 to 20. Raja Azimul Haq was also appointed illegally, it said, adding that the EOBI funds cannot be utilised in violation of investment rules. The court said orders be issued for returning the illegal amount used under EOBI. A similar case was filed on September 30, 2010, which was clubbed with this case. 
A fact-finding committee was constituted under the court’s orders. It consisted of DG Audit Pervez Ahmad, DG MR Javed Iqbal, DDG Meraj Nizamuddin, Director Law Chaudhry Abdul Latif, and Recruitment AD Feerozuddin Sheikh. 
The court ruled these appointments were reviewed in the light of EOBI service rules -1980 wherein it was laid down that first of all written test will be taken in respect of posts falling in the scale 6 to 16 and 7 to 17. 132 officers were appointed in 2010. 7 officers were taken on deputation. 238 officers were appointed on contract. The court remarked that the committee maintained that 238 appointments in grade 1 to 9 were made against the rules and regulations. No seat was lying vacant against which these appointments could be made. No test was taken and people were appointed. 
The court ruled Nazar Muhammad Gondal, brother of chairman Zafar Iqbal Gondal  had been elected as MNA from NA-109 Mandi Baha ud Din and he was minister for food, agriculture and CAD when the appointments were made. Nadim Afzal Chan had also his role in these appointments. The court ordered that NAB should investigate into these illegal appointments including the appointment of Raja Azimul Haq, son-in-law of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and initiate action against those who are found responsible. These matters be dealt with within two months, the court ordered.  

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