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IHC removes FBR chairman

Published Jun 06, 2013 07:39am


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Islamabad High Court building.—File Photo
Islamabad High Court building.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared on Wednesday that the appointment of Ali Arshad Hakeem as chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was illegal and ordered the government to appoint a suitable person to the post by June 30.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had reserved judgment on a challenge to the appointment by Ashfaq Ahmed, a grade 19 officer of the FBR.

On April 8 the court suspended the notification of the appointment and the government assigned the charge of acting chairman to Ansar Javed.

The PPP government had appointed Mr Hakeem as FBR chairman on July 10 last year. He had earlier served as chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority on contract. Mr Hakeem was also given the charge of revenue secretary.

The IHC also set aside the notification for the additional charge.

Justice Siddiqui said in his order that the appointment had been made without any competitive process. He said he “totally failed to understand how the qualification, experience, eminence and performance of an individual can be gauged without inviting others to compete” for appointment to such an important and sensitive post.

Barrister Zafarullah Khan, the petitioner’s counsel, had informed the court that the government had relaxed at least 10 essential requirements for the appointment. The post was not advertised and the candidature was not examined by a selection committee.

He said the summary for the appointment had not been moved in accordance with the law. He said several senior officers were eligible for the post but they had not been considered.

Mr Hakeem’s counsel Ashtar Ausaf had contended that the IHC lacked jurisdiction over the matter and the Federal Services Tribunal was the right forum for hearing such a petition.

He said there was no prescribed criterion for appointment of FBR chairman and the court could not examine the allegations in the absence of a set procedure.

He admitted that the vacancy had not been advertised in the press.

He claimed that the petition was not maintainable because the petitioner was not an aggrieved person and none of his rights had been infringed because of the appointment.

Comments (7) Closed

Tahir Ali Jun 06, 2013 08:57am

Mr Ali Arshad Hakeem through his mis-management and posting of senior officers for "considerations" other than merit has seriously damaged FBR and this is clear from fact that against the Tax collection target of Rs 2381 Billion, FBR at-most will collect Rs 1975 Billion. The senior Member Tax Policy that he appointed on contract has ruined FBR because of his"bad and un-ethical practices". Some one should investigate

M.AKRAM Jun 06, 2013 11:04am

Good decision, blind appointment without justification should not be acceptable even that of a peon. Jun 06, 2013 12:22pm

Disciplinary actions must be taken against the person who authorized the illegal appointment of Mr Hakeem as Chairman FBR.

FarmerDr Jun 06, 2013 12:27pm

How is it that the Civil Bureaucracy which is so good at tying up citizens in red tape has no standard operating procedures for even its high level appointments?

FarmerDr Jun 06, 2013 12:31pm

I suspect that the court decision in this case has deprived the nation of a dynamic individual who had the will to challenge and change the inefficient and corrupt status quo. I suspect connivers who support the status quo have won.

Kam East Jun 06, 2013 02:47pm

Yes, the person who made the appointmen MUST be sent to jail. ONLY then will corrupt practices come to an end. Jail them, or execute them. Period.

HONEST BELIEF Jun 06, 2013 11:22pm

Judges are appointed through a selection process. Keeping in view some of the poor judgement rendered by the Honourable Courts, why don't the judges also go through a competitive process?? That would be fair to all and would not allow only seniority or favouritism.