LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday sought replies from the federal government and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in a petition challenging the appointment of Amir Ali Khan as the regulator’s chairman.Representing the petitioner, Advocate Hamza Haider submitted that the SECP consisted of five commissioners including the chairman.

The respondent, Mr Khan, was appointed as the commissioner of the SECP on Dec 7, 2018, without making him resign from the post of executive director in the same organisation, the counsel said.He said the respondent tampered with the record and tendered his resignation from the previous position on back date and the Ministry of Finance was never intimated regarding his resignation.

The counsel argued that the commissioners were appointed under Section 5 of the SECP Act whereas the employees were appointed and governed under Section 8 of the same Act.

He counsel maintained that a person could not hold two positions governed under separate provision of the law. The respondent was not only unqualified but did not have the requisite experience to be appointed as chairman, he added.

He alleged that the respondent retained his both positions – executive director and commissioner – for nine months till his appointment as the chairman of the SECP.

The counsel argued that the appointment of the respondent as chairman was illegal as he was appointed in the SECP’s internal vacancy even in presence of other two commissioners who were already appointed as internal candidates.

He stated that the appointment of the respondent was in sheer violation of the laws and judgements passed by the Supreme Court.

He asked the court to set aside the appointment of the respondent for being made in violation of law, without jurisdiction and based on nepotism.

Justice Ayesha A Malik issued notices to the respondents and sought their replies by Jan 12, 2022.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2021

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