The Supreme Court on Friday declared the appointment of National Bank president Ali Raza unconstitutional and directed him to leave his post immediately.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday announced the reserved verdict on a petition of Mir Muhammad Idris who had challenged the validity of the reappointment of Syed Ali Raza as President of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for a fifth time for one year.
The court after detailed hearing had reserved its ruling in the matter on January 4, 2011.
At the time of announcement of the verdict, Malik Manzur Qadir, counsel for the petitioner, section officers of the ministry of finance and employees of NBP regional headquarters were also present in the court.
The appointment of Ali Raza was challenged in Supreme Court in August 2010. During the course of hearing, the petitioner’s attorney Manzur Qadir had argued that according to the Nationalisation Act, National Bank president can only be appointed for two terms but former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf had issued ordinance for Syed Ali Raza’s appointment while the present government also extended the period of his appointment till June 20, 2011.
He also informed the court that there are serious allegations of corruption against Mr Raza, including one relating to loans’ write-off to the tune of Rs26 billion.
The petitioner made the federation, Ministry of Finance, National Bank of Pakistan and President of National Bank as respondent in his petition.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2011.