Plea against NAB head: LHC issues notices to authorities -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Plea against NAB head: LHC issues notices to authorities

LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Interior Ministry and the National Accountability Bureau chairman on a petition challenging appointment of Rana Zahid Mehmood as director general of NAB Punjab.

The bench consisting of Justice Chaudhry Iftikhar Husain and Justice Ahmad Farooq Sheikh issued notices to the attorney general, Punjab advocate general, Federal Investigation Agency and the Punjab police inspector general for March 24.

The bench also issued notices for the same date on an application asking the court to stop Mehmood from acting as NAB Punjab head immediately.

The petition was filed by the affectees of the Canal Motors reference being investigated by the NAB. The petitioner challenged the investigation in the case and eligibility of Mehmood.

Petitioners’ counsel said appointment of Mehmood was made on contract in violation of rules and regulations. He said Mehmood was removed as judge of the Lahore High Court after a judgment of the Supreme Court on a petition of the Sindh High Court Bar Association that declared all appointments made by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar unconstitutional. He said the SC had declared contract appointments illegal, therefore, MehmoodÂ’s appointment was also unconstitutional. He said Mehmood was a close relative of Rana Qaiser Nazir, an accused in the Canal Motors case, who is being investigated by the NAB. He said Mehmood was influencing the case.

He asked the court to declare the appointment unconstitutional and sought directions to transfer investigation of the Canal Motors case to previous investigation officer Rana Waqas.

NOTICE TO FINANCE SECY: Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court issued a notice to the Punjab finance secretary on a petition filed by additional registrar Riaz Ali Zaidi against the government for not paying LHC employees salaries with the 50 per cent increase in basic pay.

The judge directed a provincial law officer to ensure submission of reply from the finance secretary by March 31.

Zaidi submitted that basic salaries of government employees were increased by 50 per cent in the federal budget 2010-11. He said the federal law ministry issued a notification in this regard on the direction of the prime minister. He said all provincial governments implemented the notification, but the Punjab government did not.
Source: Dawn
Date:3/17/2011