Graft hunting: Court blocks appointment of new RCS chairman

Petitioners contend that Bashir was appointed without due consultation and on political basis.


Our Correspondent January 20, 2012

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday stopped the newly appointed chairman of the Red Crescent Society (RCS) Zahid Bashir from assuming his duties till the next date of hearing a petition which challenged his appointment.

Justice Sayed Mansoor Ali Shah passed the order after hearing a petition from Liaqat Ali, Muhammad Munawar and other members of the RCS. Bashir was appointed as Chairman by the Punjab governor after Haji Muhammad Hanif had been removed.

Appearing before the court, a counsel for Bashir submitted that the governor was fully authorised to remove and appoint a new chairman of the RCS. According to section 5 of Halal-e-Ahmer Society Act, managing body of the RCS is authorised to make the rules and the governor can appoint a chairman. He said that the managing body made rules against the law by barring the governor from exercising his powers. The governor had also issued a show cause notice to the managing committee in this regard.

Appearing before the court, a counsel for the petitioners submitted that according to the law, the governor can appoint the first chairman but not subsequent chairmen. He contended that the managing committee, by amending the rules, had declared its consultation necessary for making appointment of the chairman. The counsel said that the removal of Hanif and the appointment of Bashir lacked consultation with the committee.

After hearing the arguments, the judge ordered that the managing committee would run the affairs of the RCS while it cannot a make decision for monetary matters of the society. The court adjourned the hearing or two weeks.

The petitioners had submitting that the governor being president of the RCS had appointed Bashir as the new chairman by removing Mian Muhammad Hanif on January 6, 2012. They said the impugned appointment was made ignoring merit and purely on political grounds.

The petitioners also alleged that the Bashir soon after taking charge as the society’s chairman started misusing his powers and wasting the society’s resources.

They prayed to the court to set aside the notification of impugned appointment and also requested to restrain governor from interfering in the society’s affairs.

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