IHC seeks replies in NBP president’s case

Published: September 1, 2018
The Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: EXPRESS

The Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD : The Islamabad High Court directed the Attorney General for Pakistan on Friday to provide assistance in case of the suspended president of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) who has challenged his suspension by the federal cabinet before the IHC.

Justice Athar Minallah has also issued notices to the respondents with directions to submit comments by the next date of hearing, on September 10.

Petitioner Saeed Ahmed through his counsel Faiz Rasool Jalbani has challenged the federal cabinet’s notification of August 28 which suspended Ahmed on the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) request.

In the petition, the counsel said Ahmed’s appointment is contractual in essence and he has not beached any term fixed by the government in view of the Section 11 (3) (a) of the Banks (Nationalisation) Act, 1974. Jalbani said that neither the petitioner has done nor has been alleged to have done the acts/omissions which may/might render him liable to removal in view of Section 11 (3) (b) (c) and Section 11(12) of the banks’ 1974 act.

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While referring to Fortescue J’s observation that “the laws of God and man, both give the party an opportunity to make its defence, if it has any”, Jalbani said that Ahmed has been condemned unheard. He said Ahmed has never even been summoned by the government to explain his position and no show cause notice has ever been issued. In addition, he said no charge has been framed by the department against him and no departmental proceedings are pending.

The petitioner has maintained that the notification is arbitrary, fanciful, whimsical, capricious and repugnant to the conscience. He has requested that the notification is not sustainable and liable to be set aside.

Suspended NBP president challenges cabinet move 

Ahmad is co-accused in a supplementary money-laundering case with two other persons. The case has been filed in an accountability court. The NAB has filed the main reference against former finance minister Ishaq Dar. However, the court has already exonerated Saeed Ahmad on charges of money-laundering but he continues to face allegations of aiding and abetting Dar in laundering the money.

The NAB took a plea in letters written to the finance ministry that Ahmad could influence the ongoing investigations. The cabinet approved removal of NBP President citing a pending case against him for his alleged involvement in money laundering of billions of rupees, said Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry after the cabinet meeting.

The court would resume hearing on September 10.

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