September 10, 2018: A single member bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC), presided by Justice Athar Minallah, has directed the finance division to submit to file a para-wise response and rationale in support of their suspension order of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president Saeed Ahmad within one week.
In case of failure, the judge has directed that the Finance Secretary should appear personally to explain the reason.
Petitioner Saeed Ahmed through his counsel Faiz Rasool Jalbani had challenged the federal cabinet’s notification of August 28, which suspended him on the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) request.
In an earlier hearing, Justice Athar had sought a reply from the federal government over the removal of former NBP president Saeed Ahmad. However, the government had not submitted its response during Monday’s hearing thereby irritating the judge who then directed the Finance Division to file a parawise response and rationale within one week in support of their suspension order.
Justice Athar also acknowledged and accepted Saeed Ahmad’s council, Faiz Rasool Jalbani’s stand that the suspension had aggrieved Saeed Ahmad and caused stigma for the petitioner.
In the petition, the counsel Jalbani stated that Ahmed’s appointment is contractual in essence and he has not breached any term/condition fixed by the government in view of the Section 11 (3) (a) of the Banks (Nationalization) Act, 1974.
Jalbani said that neither the petitioner has done nor has been alleged to have done the acts/omissions which may/might render him liable to removal in view of Sections 11 (3) (b) (c) and 11(12) of the banks’ 1974 act.
He said Ahmed has never been summoned by the federal government for explaining his position and no show cause notice has ever been issued.
In addition, he said no charge has been framed by the department against him and no departmental proceedings are pending against him. The petitioner has maintained that the notification is arbitrary, fanciful, whimsical, capricious and repugnant to the conscience. He has requested that the notification is not sustainable and liable to be set aside.
There was another application made by a union person to join Government action against the petitioner. However, the judge simply threw that out and told the applicant not to make a mockery of the judicial system.
Principal Secretary to the prime minister, federal government through finance, cabinet division and establishment division secretaries, the State Bank of Pakistan and the NBP through its secretary board of directors’ are respondents in the case.
The case has now been adjourned till September 24.