The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday reserved judgement on four identical petitions challenging the appointments of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Arif Usmani and its Chairman Zubyr Soomro.
While reserving verdict in response to identical petitions challenging the appointments of National Bank of Pakistan and its chairman on Friday, the Islamabad High Court sought complete record of appointments of both the officials from the Ministry of Finance.
Appearing before a single member of Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani in the matter on Friday an official of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) produced the record pertaining to appointment of the NBP president and chairman.
The court noted that some points pertaining to the appointment were not clear due to it the case had been fixed for hearing again. The court questioned how Soomro had been appointed as chairman NBP when thousands of eligible bankers were available, he said and asked what was the reason behind this decision.
The NBP’s counsel contended that the State Bank had recommended the name to the federal government.
Dr. G. M. Chaudhry, counsel for the Abdul Latif Qureshi, chief organizer of the NBP staff union Islamabad apprised the bench that under the provisions of the Banks Nationalization Act, 1974, a person shall not be eligible for appointment as the Chairman, the President, or a member of the Board if he is not a citizen of Pakistan which excludes persons having citizenship of any other country.
Opposing the appointment of the NBP president/chairman Dr Chaudhry argued that under law of the land chairman, the president, and other members of the Board shall be appointed by the federal government, in consultation with the State Bank of Pakistan, for a term of three years, on such terms and conditions as may be fixed by the General Meeting of the bank.
He alleged there was no consultation with the State Bank of Pakistan before appointment of Arif Usmani as the President of National Bank of Pakistan which is a mandatory requirement under the Banks Nationalization Act, 1974 (Act No. XIX of 1974), saying, thus, making the appointment of Usmani void ab initio and illegal which is required to be set aside.
After a brief hearing of the matter, the bench reserved the verdict and directed the Federal Finance Ministry to produce records relating to appointments of the NBP president and chairman.
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