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PESHAWAR: A lawyer has moved the Peshawar High Court challenging the appointment of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company’s chief executive officer by the provincial government, insisting the relevant rules and laws were violated for the purpose.

In the petition, Barrister Ali Gohar Durrani also challenged the reconstitution of the EZDMC board of directors on Nov 20, 2017.

He prayed the court to declare the appointment of the EZDMC CEO illegal and unlawful and an excess of jurisdiction by the government.

The petitioner also sought orders for the dissolution of the BoD due to formation in violation of the law, rules and regulations.

Respondents in the petition are the provincial government through the chief secretary, EZDMC, department of industries, commerce and technical education through its secretary, EZDMC BoD through its secretary, and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan through its registrar.

Petition also challenges reconstitution of company board

The petitioner, who filed the petition in public interest, said the EZDMC was a company registered under the Companies Act 2017 (previously the Companies Ordinance, 1984), and is government by its BoD.

He said the government had sanctioned Rs10,000 million as working capital for the company’s operation and management and owned 99.99 per cent of the company’s shares through the finance secretary.

The petitioner said the company was governed by the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules 2013 for being owned by the provincial government.

He claimed that the company had so far failed to hold its first annual general meeting and therefore, all its actions were without lawful authority.

The petitioner said after a summary was forwarded to the chief minister on Nov 10, 2017, the EZDMC BoD was reconstituted to increase the company’s efficiency though the reconstitution couldn’t happen through a simple notification.

He said under the rules laid down by the Supreme Court, the provincial cabinet was the lawful authority to make such moves.

The petitioner said the job description and criteria was deliberately changed to negatively impact the open selection criteria for the company CEO’s post.

He said a Sept 2017 advertisement put the minimum age for the post at 50 years but the condition was later changed to benefit the current CEO.

The petitioner claimed that the current CEO’s CV showed that he worked as area resident engineer with Bechtel Corporation and Royal Commission at the Jubail Industrial City of Saudi Arabia though the CEO’s appointment letter barred him from doing business or taking up employment with any other person or organisation until the company authorised him to do so.

He said despite having the specific knowledge of irregularities in the appointment and hiring of the CEO, the EZDMC BoD unlawfully decided on July 10, 2018, to confirm his appointment.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2018