Court stays suspension of Peshawar Development Authority director

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The Peshawar High Court bench on Friday issued a stay order to suspend the directives of the Peshawar Development Authority’s director general to suspend the building control agency’s director and the subsequent charge-sheet issued to him.

A bench consisting of Justice Nisar Hussain and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth issued notice to the PDA director general asking him to file a reply to an application filed by director Khan Afzal Afridi.

The bench fixed July 31 for next hearing of the application with the direction that the orders related to the applicant’s suspension and subsequent inquiry should remain suspended till that date.

The said application was submitted by Mr. Afridi in an already pending petition in which he had challenged some earlier PDA DG’s orders including the one of his removal from the post of director and appointment of a junior officer as the chairman of the Building Plan Approval Committee.

The petitioner has claimed that he had been victimised as he had declined to spare influential persons during an anti-encroachment drive in the provincial capital.

The high court had earlier on Apr 13 suspended three orders of the PDA DG including removal of the petitioner from the post of director; alleged appointment of a junior officer as chairman of building plan approval committee; and issuance of a show-cause notice to the petitioner by the DG.

Khalid Khan Afridi, lawyer for the petitioner, said initially, through a notification on Nov 25, 2015, the DG had appointed in an arbitrary manner a junior officer as building plan approval committee.

He added that against the said illegal order the petitioner had filed a representation before secretary local government over which the DG issued another order on Dec 21 through which the petitioner was removed from his post and was made an officer on special duty.

The lawyer said on Jan 21, 2016, the DG issued show cause notice to the petitioner on flimsy ground of directly filing representation to the secretary local government instead of following chain-of-command.

He said despite suspension of the said orders the DG had not been giving him charge of his post against which a contempt of court petition was also filed.

The lawyer said on July 1, the DG issued another order through which the petitioner was suspended and an inquiry was initiated against him. He added that the said inquiry committee had issued a charge sheet against the petitioner and asked him to appear on Jul 15 failing which he would be proceeded against ex-parte.

He said last year, the petitioner had launched a massive anti-encroachment drive from Hayatabad up to Kohat Road and had dismantled several illegal structures set up on state land.

The lawyer said when the petitioner wanted to extend the scope of the said operation, he was stopped by high-ups in the authority.

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