PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government appears to be using all means at its disposal to keep Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) CEO Akbar Ayub at his post, despite the Peshawar High Court (PHC) striking down his appointment.
Sources said the K-P government will try to keep Ayub in his position by filing a review petition in the Supreme Court this week against the judgement.
Steps will be taken to amend the PEDO Act 1993 by changing the minimum requirement for the eligibility of a person to apply for the post.
The PHC struck down a government notification from February 18, 2o15 under which Ayub was appointed.
The court had deemed the post vacant and gave directives to the government to fill it while strictly following a merit policy.
Under Section 5 of the PEDO Act, the government has to appoint a CEO who has expertise in the energy and power sectors, while Ayub only had experience in the financial sector.
Ayub is still serving as CEO of the organisation after the PHC having granted a 60-day stay order on the implementation of the judgement to allow for an appeal to be filed in the Supreme Court.
K-P government sources say that the establishment informed that a scrutiny committee under the chairmanship of the law secretary decided in a meeting last Thursday to challenge the PHC judgement in the Supreme Court.
“The appeal has to be filed this week as the 60-day stay order would expire on August 7,” said an official who requested not to be named.
The official told The Express Tribune that the K-P advocate general would file the appeal and try to get a stay order from the apex court before the expiry of the existing stay.
As for the amendment to the PEDO Act, the government has prepared a draft for an ordinance through which section 5 would be completely reworked.
Under the proposed section 5 (1), a person would be eligible for the slot of CEO if they have at least 12 years of experience in fields relating to law, business, engineering, finance, accounts, economics, or power.
The K-P law department expressed its reservation over the draft and the reservations which then were passed on to the K-P energy and power department.
The K-P energy and power department sought to retroactively amend section 5 of the act with effect from January 1, 2014, so that Ayub’s appointment could be given legal cover.
However, the law department objected, and then after deliberations between the law department and K-P energy and power department it was decided to make the amendment enforceable “with immediate effect”, the officials informed.
“The amendment via an ordinance rather than routing it through the K-P assembly is a better option for the government as K-P assembly opposition members would have made an issue out of it,” said an official.
The officials were not happy at the minimum 12 years experience requirement and the addition of law, finance, business and accounts to criteria.
“PEDO’s job is to build energy related projects so its CEO should be a person from the power sector and should have at least 20 years of experience in these fields,” said one of the officials, adding that 12 years minimum experience is too little for a CEO.
K-P Advocate General Abdul Latif Yousufzai was not available for comment.
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