Controversy emerges after dissolution of TCKP
PESHAWAR – While the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has recently transferred employees of the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) into the newly established Cultural and Tourism Authority (CTA), the government is now facing a legal issue as a corporation cannot be dissolved if it has cases pending in courts or if it is facing an inquiry
According to the relevant laws, no organization can be dissolved there are inquiries against it by a probe body or cases against it running in courts. At the moment, there are 22 cases running against the Tourism Corporation KP in Peshawar High Court and other courts in Swat, Abbottabad and Islamabad.
It may be mentioned here that the provincial government has set up the CTA and decided to merge the TCKP and Directorate of Culture into the newly established CTA. The assets and employees of TCKP have been transferred into the CTA. However, relevant circles have raised the issue of the merger.
The Sports and Tourism Department had announced that it had dissolved the TCKP as per three laws, ie Easy Exit Regulation 2014, Companies Act 2017 and Companies Regulation 2018. However, these laws also mention that a body, such as TCKP, cannot be dissolved if it has cases running in courts or there is any inquiry related to it.
It may be mentioned here that an inquiry into the Malam Jaba tourist resort case is also underway involving the TCKP.
Currently, all the ongoing schemes of tourism are in progress under the TCKP while the new and upcoming schemes would be undertaken by the CTA.
Secretary Culture, Tourism and Sports Abid Majeed said that because there was no issue with regards to official business, he decided to transfer staff and assets of TCKP into CTA. “There are different laws, one says a corporation cannot be dissolved if it has cases running in courts, but we also have another law which says that a body can be dissolved even if it has cases running in courts or any inquiry involving it,” he added.
“It’s just like if we have a hurdle on one route during travel, we adopt another [alternate] route to reach our destination,” Abid Majeed added
However, a senior lawyer of Supreme Court, Muazzam Butt Advocate told this correspondent that if the head of a department or even if a chief minister dissolves a body, still it is challengeable in the court of law.
“Just like a law is made before setting up a body, another law will have to be made to dissolve that body. This is why that if a body like a corporation is dissolved even through an executive order by a chief minister, it can be challenged in the court of law,” he added.
He said that the head of a department cannot dissolve a corporation himself. He, however, said that a corporation can be dissolved if the entire cabinet approves so, otherwise another law must be made for the purpose.