ISLAMABAD: Despite clear violation of set rules, findings and recommendations, Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has shelved report about illegal appointments and violations of rules in National Metrology Institute of Pakistan (NMIP), an attached department of the ministry, formerly known as National Physical and Standards Laboratory (NPSL).
As per documents available with this scribe, the inquiry report submitted to Secretary MoST, has suggested criminal proceedings through FIA against existing acting Director General of NMIP Fozia Khan and others for acts of forgery, fabrication, destruction of evidence and for causing unlawful loss to the state.
Interestingly, as per findings of the inquiry committee headed by former Joint Secretary/inquiry officer Hassan Ali Khan Laghari, irregularities and forgery have been found in the recruitment process of employees by NPSL, initiated in November 2021. The committee has also found that the number of posts has been increased without sanction, and the strength of NPSL. The number of posts (BS-1 to BS-15) advertised were 42 while 66 employees were recruited by the department later.
While suggesting to examine the whole exercise of recruitment in BS-01 to BS-15, the committee has specially highlighted a case of forgery, which has been committed in the case of appointment of Saad Hassan, an employee of NMIP (NPSL).
Interestingly, as per the report, Mr Saad Hassan was originally recommended for the slot of Lab Attendant (BS-1) but later on, through forgery, he was offered the post of UDC (BS-11) as an alternate candidate in very mysterious circumstances, with plea that he was the alternate candidate. The recruited person was to undergo training, as specifically laid down in the advertisement, but this chapter of the requirement was not taken in hand, and this alone reflects the hollowness of the process.
“The appointment of Mr. Saad Hassan being ab initio wrong, and as a result of forgery fraudulent tricks may be recalled and declared null and void forthwith, as it is based on acts of forgery, and the amount paid to him in the form of salary etc and all benefits extended to him may be recovered,” the inquiry committee suggested the ministry.
Besides, the whole spate of recruitment may be declared null and void as it has been undertaken without following the laid down code and policy. The services of the recruited persons may be dispensed with during the probationary period, regardless of the fact that litigation may follow but truth must prevail, the report, which was submitted to the ministry on September 26, 2022, says adding that Ms. Fozia Khan (DG NPSL), Mr. Ghulam Nabi (AO HQ PCSIR), and all the members of the DSC may be brought within the E&D Rules applicable in ease of each.
“Criminal proceedings may be initiated against Ms. Fozia Khan. Mr. Rashid Mehmood Chaudhry, and Mr Naeem Ilahi for acts of forgery, fabrication and destruction of evidence and for causing unlawful loss to the state, through FIA”, the inquiry report said.
Earlier as per a letter sent to Chairman PCSIR on July 19, 2022, the Secretary MoST had ordered an inquiry against unlawful appointments at NPSL, on the complaint of Mr Khalil-ur-Rehman. An inquiry committee comprising of senior officers of MoST was constituted to further probe the observed violations of rules including violation of regional quota, appointment of blood relatives of NPSL employees and advertisement without approval of the ministry.
When contacted officials aware of the case at MoST informed that the ministry was yet to take action against those involved in the legal practices. According to insiders, instead of taking necessary actions as recommended by the committee, the ministry officials were facilitating further recruitment at NMIP.
It may be mentioned here that NPSL was established in 1974 under a development project of Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), started functioning practically at its present premises at Islamabad in 1983, as a unit of PCSIR.
However, after approval of the National Quality Policy 2021, the department has been separated from PCSIR and renamed as NMIP.