Courts send Home 3 top Bureaucrats

Supreme Court BuildingISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday declared the appointment of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Muhammad Ali Ghulam Muhammad as illegal and directed the federation to fill the post in adherence to the provisions of the SECP Act in a credible and transparent manner without delay.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed Pakistan Television’s Managing Director Yousaf Baig Mirza and upheld the federal government’s decision of terminating Utility Stores Corporation Managing Director Major General (r) Farooq. The three-page judgement authored by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja read that the selection and appointment of Muhammad Ali as commissioner and chairman of the SECP does not meet the requirements of the SECP Act 1997; and as a consequence, the notification for his appointment is set aside. A two-member bench comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain heard the case for several days and had reserved the judgement on April 10. The federal government was directed to make appointments, without delay, to these statutory positions in accordance with Sections 5, 6 and 7 of SECP Act in a credible, rigorous, transparent and open manner, through a selection and appointment process which ensures that the appointees meet the requirements of law.

The court noted that the insertion of section 5(5) in the SECP Act through the Finance Act 2003 was violative of the constitution and in particular Article 73 thereof; Clause 3(1) of Chapter 11 of the SECP Service Rules (HR Handbook), which allow for termination without cause of employees of SECP, is ultra vires the constitution and inter alia, the SECP Act. It also directed that this clause must be replaced appropriately by provisions ensuring due process and adherence, inter alia to articles 9, 10A, 14, 18 and 25 of the constitution and which are consistent with the provisions of the SECP Act ensuring independent and objective decision-making without fear or favour, required of an independent regulator.

The court declared that the copy of this order shall be sent to each member of the Securities and Exchange Policy Board for action deemed appropriate by the Board in relation to the governance structure and decision-making policies of the SECP as per requirements of the SECP Act and for consideration on issues of policy-making highlighted by the present petition and for the effective performance of the Board’s functions under the SECP Act, particularly section 21 thereof.

The court order read, “The Board having, inter alia, the duty to ‘oversee the performance of [SECP] to the extent that the purposes of the [SECP] Act are achieved’, shall look into this petition and documents placed on file and after making such further inquiries as may be deemed appropriate by it, submit within 45 days, a report as to the performance of the SECP”
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed state television’s Managing Director Yousaf Baig Mirza. Hearing the petition of former PTV MD Ashraf, which challenged the appointment of Yousaf Baig Mirza, Justice Shoukat Aziz Siddiqui dismissed the current MD and appointed Engineer Mustafa Kamal Kazi as an interim head of the state television. The court also ordered the government to appoint the new MD on merit within 30 days.

Also, the IHC upheld the federal government’s decision regarding the termination of Utility Stores Corporation Managing Director. The court also ordered the secretary ministry of industries to assign the look-after charge of Utility Store MD to the most senior officer. – Dailytimes