The Islamabad High Court removed the president of the National Bank of Pakistan, Arif Usmani, and Board of Directors (BoD) Chairperson Zubair Somroo on Tuesday.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani conducted a hearing on separate petitions challenging the appointment of NBP President Arif Usmani and Board of Directors (BoD) Chairperson Zubair Soomro and reserved its verdict on June 12 after hearing the arguments of all parties.

The petitions were filed by Syed Jahangir, Javed Iqbal, Faizal Raheem, and Latif Qureshi. During the hearing on June 12, an official of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had produced all the records regarding the appointment of top bank officials.

At the previous hearing, the court had asked that how Soomro had been appointed as the chairperson when thousands of eligible bankers were available. The NBP’s counsel had stated before the court that the State Bank had recommended the name to the federal government. The court had sought records from the finance ministry and reserved the decision.

On May 26, Usmani’s counsel, Ahmer Bilal Sufi, had adopted the stance that the NBP had earned good profit under stewardship of the current president. He also presented a research by The Wall Street Journal which argued that physics graduates are successful in every field.

The court had remarked that if a degree has no connection with a field then a judge could also be appointed as a bank head.

Advocate GM Chaudhry, the counsel of Latif Qureshi, had stated that then there were also other people who had topped in physics. He had added that this had also violated their rights as they were also entitled to give application for the post in the same way.

Soomro’s lawyer had said that the petitions were based on mala fide intentions as the petitioner was not an affected party.

Advocate Waqar Naqvi had replied that any person can file a petition in any case as per the constitution. He had added that there was a new cause of action every day in illegal appointments, while Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) had also reported corruption in the bank.

Advocate Shahid Kamal in his arguments said that Usmani had shared his CV with Asad Umar and the president had also admitted it many times. He had also read out the transcript of Usmani’s interview in the court.

More to follow…


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