The Sindh High Court divisional bench Hyderabad on Friday set aside appointment notification of the Muhammad Imran Chief Executive Officer of GENCO Holding Company Limited (GHCL), which runs four power generation companies.
The federal government has issued an appointment notification of Muhammad Imran Charted Accountant on January 04, 2018, however, Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority Employees secretary-general Muhammad Sajan Panhwar challenged the notification before SHC. He contended that the CEO Muhammad Imran lacked the required engineering qualifications under the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Act, 1976, and the various verdicts of the Supreme Court.
Petitioner’ counsel and Pakistan Engineering Council lawyer Rizwan Ali Memon contended before the divisional bench of Justices Zulfiqar Ahmad Khan and Muhammad Saleem Jessar that under the provisions of Pakistan Engineering Council Act 1975, it is a basic requirement that no person unless registered as an Engineer could hold any post in any engineering organization where he has to perform professional engineering work, demanding that CEO of GHCL had to be a professional engineer as managing power plants was a pure engineering specialty.
Panhwar counsel contended that the PEC Act, as well as the SC’s order, was being violated. He informed the court that the PEC had twice written to the Ministry of Energy in January and July this year, to no avail. The petitioner accused Imran of weakening GENCO’s power generation capacity. “He is focusing on the closure of public-sector power plants, [citing] inefficiency, fuel shortage and no demand of electricity from the national grid.”
Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan authored a 14-page verdict copy of which available with TLTP.
While expressing grave concern over circular debt the author judge noted, “ As to running of GHCL with utmost efficiency, the fact that two units of Jamshoro Power Company (GENCO-1) having being shut down, and as per the financial reports available for GENCO-1 stating that financial statements of the company for the financial year 2018-19 could not be finalized by the management up till December 31,2019, we do see it a measure of good performance, particularly when cost of electricity and the swamp of circular debt is swallowing the poor customers, running of government sector electrical power plants with utmost efficiency with individuals possessing required technical qualifications commensurating with highly technical requirement of the job cannot be ignored for a second”.
He said, “We accordingly allow this petition, set aside the notification dated January 4,2018 directing the federal government to re-initiate the process for appointment of new Chief Executive Officer strictly in compliance of the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules 2013 and the Public Sector Companies (Appointment of Chief Executive) Guidelines, 2015 in the light of the dictum laid down in the case of Selling of National Assets including PIA at Throwaway Price (Supra) forthwith while ensuring compliance of the Pakistan Engineering Council Act 1975 and other applicable laws and rules is not left out.
The bench issued directives to the federal government to fill the slot of CEO GHCL in a month and submit compliance report to Additional Registrar. “Hopefully this exercise would be completed within thirty days when a compliance report be sent to Additional Registrar of this court for the attention of the judges in chambers”, the bench concluded.
The writer heads a leading news wire service ‘The Law Today Pakistan’ commonly known as TLTP. He has a special focus on news relating to superior courts adjudication, access to right of information, civil, political, social and economic rights under the approach that existing cyber regime realization ensures procedural fairness in administrative law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org