Another ignominy: IHC restores AGPR

Third suspended officer to be restored by same court after PEMRA, NADRA chiefs.

Fawad Ali January 17, 2014
Islamabad High Court. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The government faced another humiliation on Thursday when the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended the forced leave notification for the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR).

IHC Justice Noorul Haq N Quraishi passed the order on a plea filed by AGPR Tahir Mahmood, who had challenged a Commerce Division notification issued on January 9 sending him on forced leave for three months.

 photo TheAGPRrsquos_zps93d25ed6.jpg

The court also served notices to the respondents, including the Establishment, Finance and Commerce secretaries.

Earlier, the same court had declared two other government notifications null and void — the suspension orders for Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) chief Chaudhry Rasheed Ahmad and NADRA chief Tariq Malik.

When the proceedings commenced, the petitioner’s counsel, Mir Aurangzeb, argued that the forced leave order issued by the Commerce Division was illegal. He said it was issued without the approval of the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) and urged the court to set aside the notification.

The counsel argued that government servant rules provide that the authorised officer can either suspend or send on forced leave an officer, “But in case of the petitioner, the government has already exhausted the option of forced leave by suspending the AGPR earlier, only to be restored by the same court,” he told the court.

The government had earlier suspended the AGPR on Dec 13.

He said nobody can be punished twice for the same accusation, as his suspension order was still pending before the court.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that the decision of sending his client on forced leave was mala fide as he will retire before the expiry of the forced leave.

When the judge asked the petitioner’s counsel to show the court order declaring the suspension null and void, he said that he would provide a copy during the next hearing.

After hearing the arguments, the court declared the government’s notification null and void and restored the petitioner.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2014.


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