The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday restrained the government from interfering in the domain of Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) Muhammad Akhtar Buland Rana after he moved court against his possible removal.
Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi issued notices to Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Controller General of Accounts (CGA) Farrah Ayub Tarin and Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood in response to a petition filed by Rana, who requested the court to restrain the government from interfering in his administrative functions.
The court directed the respondents not to interfere into the administrative functions of the AGP and asked them to submit their replies.
The petitioner, AGP Rana, through his counsel, Saeed Khurshid, maintained that the government had decided to promote CGA Tarin to the position of AGP, which was illegal.
The petitioner’s counsel said Tarin was due to retire on August 13 and the ruling government had decided to appoint her, however, this is not permissible under law as the incumbent’s four-year term would not end until August 27, 2015.
The counsel informed the court that the government could not remove Rana from the post without the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC)’s directions.
Khurshid said the CGA was a grade-22 officer of the Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service and was the AGP’s subordinate.
He said in spite of this, Tarin’s appointment as CGA was not discussed with the petitioner despite his superior position.
The counsel maintained that his client might be sacked to pave way for Tarin to be appointed as the next AGP and requested the court to accept his petition.
The petitioner expressed his apprehension that the respondents were planning to either book the petitioner in some false case through the police or Federal Investigation Agency or to assassinate the petitioner as imprisonment or death were now the only shortcut for appointing Tarin as the new AGP.
He requested the court to keep the respondents from interfering in the administrative duties of the AGP’s office as well as to direct the Interior Ministry to provide entitled security to the petitioner.
The court also ordered the Interior Ministry to provide security to Rana and adjourned the matter till the next hearing which would be fixed later by the registrar’s office.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.