The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday restrained the acting Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) president from inducting new employees in the bank. The action has been taken in response to a petition filed by a ZTBL senior vice president challenging recent appointments.
IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui restrained ZTBL Acting President Roohi Khan from appointing new employees in the organisation and also directed her to only deal with the bank’s day-to-day affairs.
Barrister Afzal Hussain, the counsel for petitioner Sohail Mansoor Agha, a ZTBL SVP, contended before the court that after taking charge as acting president on October, 26 2011, Khan made a number of appointments on senior posts to accommodate her own loyalists and politically-connected candidates while accusing her of being determined to make more new senior-level appointments.
He maintained that the ZTBL presidency was vacated on October, 25 2011 after former President Zaka Ashraf resigned, and that Roohi Raees Khan’s appointment as acting president was illegal.
Agha also informed the court that the ZTBL presidency is a tenured post appointed by the federal government for a term of three years, however, no post of acting president exists under the bank’s Memorandum and Articles of Association.
He argued that 67 senior vice presidents, 176 vice presidents and 1,287 assistant vice presidents, all highly qualified and well experienced, are already working in ZTBL and awaiting promotions. But Khan seems determined to appoint people on contract basis just to benefit her loyalists, which can only have detrimental effect on ZTBL, he said.
Through his counsel, Agha prayed the court to declare the notification of October, 26 2011 null and void and also to direct the government to appoint a permanent president. The court issued notices to the cabinet and finance secretaries, acting ZTBL president, senior vice president Ijaz Akhtar Rao, and the state bank governor before adjourning the hearing.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Islamabad Chairman Faisal Sakhi Butt on Friday sought time from the same court to explain under what capacity he was exercising powers deputed to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) head.
The court had summoned Butt, in response to a petition filed by a Kashmiri migrant Fazal Hussain, who is seeking compensation for 39 kanals under the rehabilitation of migrants policy.
However, during Friday’s hearing Butt requested through his counsel Advocate Munir Paracha that the court give him time to submit his reply. The court gave him time till May 14, and adjourned the proceedings.
During the last hearing, counsel for the petitioner Advocate Niazullah Niazi told the court that that the civic authority was defying the government’s rehabilitation policy by not compensating him for 39 kanals, and that the CDA is being run by Faisal Sakhi Butt instead of its chairman, Farkhand Iqbal.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2012.