IHC sets aside appointments of NBP’s president, BoD chairman

Published June 30, 2021
The petitioner pointed out that Transparency International had highlighted corruption in NBP and its branches abroad were being closed down.  — Photo courtesy IHC website/File
The petitioner pointed out that Transparency International had highlighted corruption in NBP and its branches abroad were being closed down. — Photo courtesy IHC website/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday set aside appointments of president of the National Bank of Pakistan Arif Usmani and chairman of its board of directors Zubair Soomro.

Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani on June 11 had reserved the verdict on a petition challenging the Jan 12, 2019 notification of these appointments.

The petition was filed by Syed Jahangir and others, who cited Establishment Division, Finance Ministry, State Bank of Pakistan and Arif Usmani as respondents in the case.

According to the petitioner, the appointments had been made in violation of the constitutional rights that ensured equal opportunity for every citizen.

The petitioner pointed out that Transparency International had highlighted corruption in NBP and its branches abroad were being closed down.

The petitioner asserted that Mr Usmani did not meet the education criteria set for the post in the advertisement issued in this regard and his appointment was in violation of rules and laws of Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

The petition said it was necessary for a candidate of this post to pass a test and meet the required qualification for the position including holding a banking education-related degree, but Mr Usmani had a degree of BSc physics.

During the hearing, Mr Usmani’s counsel informed the court that NBP had earned good profits after Mr Usmani assumed the charge of his office.

The counsel of NBP’s board pleaded that the petitions had been filed on the basis of dishonesty as the petitioners were not an aggrieved party in the case.

The bench observed that it was necessary to issue advertisement for appointment of the board chairman under the law.

The IHC bench through a short order accepted the petition and said the appointments of NBP’s president and chairman of BoD had been made in violation of the law.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2021

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