ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Advocate and Islamic Lawyers Movement President Chaudhry Khalid Farooq has filed a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against FBR Member Administration Shahid Hussain Jatoi, challenging his appointment and prayed before the court to remove him from the post.
By citing Khawaja Asif case in the Supreme Court and referring to the circular issued by the Establishment Division, the writ petition says that Jatoi, a BS-21 officer of the Secretariat Group, who was at the disposal of the FBR was appointed as member administration without prior approval of the prime minister, which was mandatory to take into account in this case.
Sources close to the member administration say that in the case of 440 officers during the caretaker government’s tenure, the Supreme Court had given 15 days review to the government either to remove the officers or continue them at their existing postings so in the case of Jatoi, the FBR preferred to continue him on the existing post.
However, the sources said that the Establishment Division had written a letter regarding the member administration’s appointment on June 17 and the former FBR chairman Ansar Javed had replied them back on the same day.
When contacted, Javed confirmed that he replied back to the Establishment Division on the same day by arguing that under the FBR’s act he was empowered to appoint any member at any slot. After the letter, the Establishment Division did not seek any further explanation on this issue during his tenure.
According to official communication of the FBR sent out to the Establishment Division, a copy of which is available with The News, services of Jatoi were requisitioned by the FBR due to his extensive knowledge and administrative setup and working of the FBR’s field formations since he was part of the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) for over 32 years.
Taking into consideration his integrity and efficiency, Jatoi was appointed as the member administration in exercise of the power vested in the board under Section 5 read with Section 20 of the FBR Act (2007), it said.
In view of the overriding provisions of the FBR act, internal postings of the officers are not required to be subject to approval.
“A summary has already been moved to seek approval of the prime minister to regularise the transfer of Jatoi in line with the direction contained in the Supreme Court order CA No 30 of 2013,” the FBR’s communication reads.
While quoting Section 5 of the FBR’s act, which states under heading of human resource management that it is the powers of the board (chairman and members) to implement human resource policy and power to transfer, select or post the officials or employees against any post on the basis of transparent criteria of selection for internal job postings or transfers. The FBR act also empowers to transfer any official to any post in any entity owned by the board. Under Section 20 of the FBR act, this act has overriding effect contained in any other law.
When contacted about the letter written by the Establishment Division on the appointment of the member administration, FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa said that this exchange of communication was done before he assumed the post and he had received nothing of this sort. If any explanation is required, then the FBR will be ready to share his views on the subject, he added.
Sources said that a group of vested interests is behind moves to remove Jatoi because he played a key role in cleansing the FBR from corrupt officials during the recent transfers and postings.