KARACHI: (Aftab Channa) The Provincial Ombudsman, only office in Sindh province which is tasked for protection against harassment of women at workplaces, has allegedly been involved in misuse of authority and illegal appointments in the ombudsmen secretariat despite ban on recruitment, it is learnt.
The Sindh government had appointed Syed Pir Ali Shah as Ombudsman in July 2012 with an aim to ensure protection against harassment of women at the workplace for a period of four years.
The Sindh province is the first province to have a provincial ombudsman to provide a legal forum to women enabling them to lodge complaints against sexual harassment at the workplace.
The ombudsman who is supposed to provide relief to the women facing all kinds of harassment at workplaces particularly the sexual ones, however the ombudsman has illegally appointed several people in the secretariat that included his family members, the official documents revealed.
According to official documents, Abdullah Shah son of Pir Ali Shah was appointed as Ombudsman consultant and assigned with additional charge of Director Administration/Human Resources, and HR Advisor. His qualification is fresh masters’ degree in 2014 and his age is only 26 years old.
Separately, ombudsman Pir Ali Shah, while bypassing the Services Act & Rules Regulations of Appointments and without observing code formalities, has appointed his daughter Ms Tooba Shah as Superintendent. The post got vacant after resignation of former superintendent Safina Channa, the documents revealed.
In yet another case, the ombudsman has also appointed his daughter namely Ms Urwa Shah for arranging seminars etc.
Moreover, Abdul Manan was illegally appointed as Assistant Private Secretary at an age of 40 years. He was twice promoted by the ombudsman and made DDO BPS-18. He is given signing authority of the ombudsman secretariat.
Irfan Shah was also illegally appointed as Computer Operator and promoted as BPS-14 and another person Shahzad was appointed as Lower Division Clerk (LDC) BPS-7 and promoted as Assistant BPS-14 illegally.
Interestingly, on August 28, 2015, the ombudsman secretariat forwarded a letter to the Accountant General Sindh for disbursement of salaries of 21 newly recruited officials for further process. “There was a complete ban on fresh recruitments in any department of the Sindh government when the ombudsman made these inductions”, sources said.
Repeated attempts were made to contact Director Operations Abdullah Shah for his official version however his cell phone remained unattended.