The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has sought reply from the top revenue official of the country on an appeal filed by the government seeking his removal.
Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi of the IHC on Dec 21 stayed the government order of removing Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) Tahir Mehmood. The same judge sought reply from Mehmood on next hearing the date of which will be decided later, on an appeal filed by the government requesting the court to vacate the stay order.
The government had suspended the AGPR on Dec 18 for three months on corruption charges. Advocate S.A. Rehman representing the government maintained that “there are serious corruption charges against Mehmood and an inquiry is under way against him”.
Rehman informed the court that the government had temporarily suspended him to ensure a fair and transparent inquiry against him.
The counsel alleged that Mahmood was facing charges of receiving kickbacks before clearance of bills as well as pension payouts. He was allegedly the right-hand man of the Auditor General of Pakistan Akhtar Buland Rana, who appointed him as the AGPR after removing an honest officer.
However Mehmood denied the charges and said that he had been victimised for sending references to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against officials of the finance ministry for releasing Rs317 billion to oil marketing companies and funds for the constituency of former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and against senior government officials for misusing public money.
Mehmood is the third high official restored by the IHC this month after being dismissed by the government.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 28th, 2013.
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