IHC orders immediate removal of NBP President, Chairman
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered the immediate removal of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Chairman Zubyr Soomro and President/Chief Executive Officer Arif Usmani from their posts.
Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani on Tuesday announced the reserved verdict on four identical petitions challenging the appointment of the bankers to the positions.
The verdict was reserved on July 12 during which the Islamabad High Court sought the complete record of the appointment of both officials from the Ministry of Finance.
Appearing before a single-member bench by Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani, an official of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) produced the record pertaining to the appointment of the NBP president and chairman. The court noted that some points pertaining to the appointments were not clear and the case had been fixed for hearing.
The court questioned how Soomro had been appointed as chairman NBP when other eligible bankers were available. The NBP’s counsel contended that the SBP had recommended the name to the federal government.
The counsel for the NBP staff union Islamabad Dr GM Chaudhry apprised the bench that under the provisions of the Banks Nationalization Act, 1974, a person shall not be eligible for appointment as the Chairman, President, or a member of the Board if he is not a citizen of Pakistan which excludes persons having citizenship of any other country.
While opposing the appointment of the NBP president and chairman, Dr Chaudhry argued that under law, the chairman, president and other members of the Board shall be appointed by the federal government, in consultation with the State Bank of Pakistan for three years and the terms and conditions 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 NBP President which is a mandatory requirement thus making it void and illegal which is required to be set aside.
After a brief hearing, the bench reserved the verdict and directed the Federal Finance Ministry to produce records relating to appointments of the NBP president and chairman.