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LAHORE: Punjab Inspector General of Prisons Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig has removed from service three officials of the Central Jail Sahiwal for issuing “Last Pay Certificates (LPCs) and “Service Books” to a number of High Security Prison (HSP) officials with fake signatures of the jail superintendent among other charges.

Last month the Punjab Home Department, through an “internal source” had carried out a sting operation and exposed Rs8 million to Rs9 million monthly corruptions in the Sahiwal Central Jail. The HSP is the only prison across Punjab that exclusively confines high-profile terrorists.

A well-placed source in the Punjab Prisons told Business Recorder that the removal from service of the three Sahiwal jail officials came when DIG Prison Sahiwal Kamran Anjum after receiving complaints carried out an inquiry and requested IG Prisons Shahid Saleem to award them major punishments as they were allegedly involved in forgery and corruption.

Identified as Head Clerk Zahid Abbas, Accountant Shahid Naseem and Ty-Warder Suleman Ali, the source added, the DIG in his report inquiry unearthed that theses officials had been issuing LPCs and service books to warders of the HSP and were getting financial and other benefits from them.

Not too long ago, the source added that around 21 warders from the Central Jail Sahiwal were transferred to the HSP and due to a lucrative salary package there, these officials with the alleged connivance of the suspended officials had prepared their “fake” service books and LPCs. As per the jail manual, these two documents are prerequisite for transfer of any official from one place to another, he explained.

“Zahid Abbas, being head clerk, failed to perform his duties efficiently as he was found guilty for issuance of LPCs to (7) warders with fake signatures of the central jail superintendent after their transfer to the HSP,” reads the inquiry report, a copy of which is available with Business Recorder.

It says that Zahid Abbas being the custodian of record was responsible to check and verify the LPCs with diligence and get these signed from the superintendent jail before dispatching the service books of these officials of HSP, but he failed to do so. Similar charges of misconduct, negligence and forgery were also imposed on Accountant Shahid and Warder Suleman.

Interestingly, the inquiry revealed that Warder Suleman Ali, who has now been posted at the HSP, was also removed from service in 2019 on charges of misconduct. In addition, he was also punished with “withholding of annual increment for the period of one year”.

Moreover, Accountant Shahid Naseem also faced removal from service in 2010 on charges of misappropriation and embezzlement besides withholding of one year annual increment. However, Head Clerk Zahid Abbas only faced withholding of two years of annual increment in 2017, according to the report.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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