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PHC orders replacement of officer over harassment

PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday directed the provincial government to replace the director of probation and reclamation department after some female probation officers accused him of harassing them.

The government was also told to create a post of deputy chief probation officer (female) and that all female probation officers in the department be placed under her supervision instead of a male officer.

After issuing these directions, the bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth disposed of the case whose notice was taken by the chief justice after receiving a complaint from four female probation officers. The chief justice had converted the complaint into a writ petition.

The petitioners had alleged that director Moalam Jan had been harassing them and making immoral demands from them.

Mr Moalam, who appeared in person, refuted the allegations and said as he had been a strict officer not tolerating laxity in duty and therefore, the petitioners were annoyed with him. He further said the petitioners’ performance was not up to the mark.

Provincial advocate general Asadullah Chamkani, deputy advocate general Alamgir Khan Durrani and secretary of establishment department Mohammad Arifeen showed up on the court’s notice.

The bench directed secretary Mr Arifeen to move a summary within seven days to the chief secretary for creation of the post of deputy chief probation officer (female) and the said post should be filled either by making fresh recruitment or promotion of a competent probation officer.

It further said female probation officers should be placed under the supervision of said officer and under no circumstances, they should have any concern with their director.

In a lighter vein, the chief justice observed that for the protection of female offenders the court had ordered creation of posts of female probation officers but now the same officers had been facing insecurity.

The court directed the establishment secretary to transfer the director to any other wing of the provincial home department in his own pay scale.

When the director tried to explain his position, the court asked him to remain silent.

Until a few years ago, there was no post of female probation officer in the probation and reclamation department blocking the freedom of female offenders on probation. The relevant rules provides for giving a female offender in the supervision of only female probation officer.

Then Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court Tariq Pervez Khan had taken a suo motu notice of the matter following which a division bench had ordered the provincial government in 2009 for creation of seven posts of female probation officers. On the orders of the court, the said posts were created around two years ago.

Source: Dawn

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