Next cabinet meeting to decide extension of NIRC chairman

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Division is all set to present a summary of extension in contract of Justice (r) Main Shakirullah Jan as the chairman National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC) in the upcoming cabinet meeting despite the fact that a case of his appointment is pending in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Sources told Pakistan Today that Shakirullah’s two-year contract with NIRC, a body that deals with trade disputes and cases of unfair labour practices, will expire on September 6 and the high-ups of the ministry are trying hard for his extension.

The former secretary of the ministry of Overseas Pakistanis has forwarded his extension summary to the cabinet despite the fact that his performance as chairman NIRC remains unsatisfactory. The new secretary Overseas Pakistan division was reportedly annoyed when he came to know of the summary sent to the cabinet division, sources added.

Sources further said that NIRC chairman in the last two years has not been able to render a single judgment in any labour case pending before him. Corruption is rampant in NIRC as private secretary to chairman NIRC is also facing an inquiry.

A close aide of the incumbent chairman who is working in ministry as joint secretary (JS) wants to appoint himself as member NIRC which is why he is making efforts for his extension, officers told this scribe.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ministry had presented a summary of extension of his contract in the cabinet meeting held on May 8 but the summary was rejected because the meeting stated that the case for the contract extension had been sent to the cabinet in haste before the 90-day deadline given in a letter of the Cabinet Division.

However, sources stated that the ministry had also concealed facts from the previous cabinet such as the appointment of NIRC Chairman being challenged in the IHC. In addition, the performance of the chairman as well as his age was not informed.

The appointment of NIRC chairman was made by the former prime minister without the approval of cabinet, who according to the verdict of the apex court is not a federal government and is also in violation of the dictum of National Judicial Policy and is challenged before the IHC by SC Advocate G M Choudhry – but respondents, despite availing ample opportunities, failed to submit their replies in the matter.

Sources told that the NIRC chairman also got his son appointed in one private bank and in return many cases of UBL management have been decided in their favour. Moreover, his close terms with former housing minister Akram Durrani also resulted in the victimization of PWD employees as well.

The scribe made efforts to contact to Spokesperson of Ministry of Overseas Pakistan, but no response was received till the filing of this story.