Supreme Court: Finance secretary to explain SECP chief’s selection

Appointment challenged on basis of conflict of interest.


Express August 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The Supreme Court has summoned secretary finance and five others, including Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) chairman, whose appointment has been challenged, on August 26.


Muhammad Ashraf Tiwana contended that SECP Chairman Muhammad Ali Ghulam Muhammad’s appointment was a sheer violation of law and principles of natural justice.

The petitioner held that appointment of members of stock and commodity exchanges, brokers, directors and/or shareholders of brokerage companies as commissioner or as SECP chairman is against the law.

The petitioner has requested that some clauses of the SECP Act should be struck down for being ultra vires of Articles 73 and 75 of the constitution. Tiwana requested a division bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to direct the government to introduce necessary amendments in the SECP Act as well as the new SECP Bill pending in Parliament to prohibit the appointment of individuals with conflict of interest as commissioners and chairman SECP in the future.

He has also contended that some clauses in the SECP Service Rules were ultra vires of the Constitution as well as in contravention of Section 23 of the Contract Act 1872 and Section 24-A of the General Clauses Act.

Tiwana has asked that SECP chairman and finance secretary, who is also chairman of SEPB, be directed to ensure that the commission’s service rules are amended to afford its employees security of tenure and the benefit of procedural due process as required by the Constitution and principles of natural justice.

The petitioner appealed that the decision to abolish the commission’s law division taken by SECP and SEPB chiefs be declared illegal for being prejudicial to public interest and for violating the SECP Act. The court adjourned the hearing till August 26.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th,  2011.

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