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IHC reserves judgment in FBR chief case

May 14, 2013

ISLAMABAD, May 13: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday reserved its judgment on the petition seeking disqualification of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman.

Earlier, on April 8 the IHC had suspended the notification for the appointment of Ali Arshad Hakeem as FBR chairman after Ashfaq Ahmed a grade 19 officer of the FBR petitioned in the IHC against him.

Mr Hakeem has been appointed as FBR chairman on July 10, 2012.

On April 8, the chairman was suspended and acting charge was given to senior FBR official, Ansar Javed.

The counsel for the petitioner, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, told the court that the position of the FBR chairman has been filled after relaxing the rules.

He said that there were at least 10 essential requirements for making the appointment of FBR chief.

According to him, neither the post was advertised nor did the selection committee scrutinize new chairman’s papers.

He said the summary for his appointment was not sent to the competent authority in accordance with the law.

The counsel said the post could be filled without advertisement in exceptional circumstances.

The petitioner said Mr Hakeem was a former civil servant who had joined the customs group of Civil Service of Pakistan but resigned after a few years.

Had he continued in his service, he would have still been in BS-19 like his other batch mates.

The counsel for Mr Hakeem, Ashtar Ausaf, on the other hand contended before the court that the IHC lacks jurisdiction over this matter as the Federal Services Tribunal was the right forum for filing such petition.

He told the court that there were no set criteria for making appointment of FBR chairman and in its absence the court could not examine the allegations.

He claimed that the petition was not maintainable as the petitioner was not an aggrieved person as none of his right has been infringed upon because of the appointment of Mr Hakeem. IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqu after hearing the arguments reserved the judgment which would be announced later.