A ‘govt with begging bowl’ victimising local investors: LHC

February 23,2019

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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday remarked that the government had been roaming around the world with a “begging bowl”, while businessmen were being victimised in the country.

“All investors are not plunderers. Who will make investment in the country if businessmen face harassment?” observed Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan, ordering the federal government to remove Shahzad Saleem, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nishat Chunian Power Plant, from Exit Control List (ECL).

Saleem had approached the court against the government’s act of placing his name on the ECL on the basis of mere an inquiry pending before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). His counsel, Salman Aslam Butt, had pleaded that the petitioner had appeared before NAB whenever he was summoned and also furnished required documents.

Additional Attorney General Chaudhry Ishtiaq A Khan argued that the federal cabinet had approved the decision of placing the petitioner on the ECL. He argued that the petitioner had not approached the government against the impugned decision and directly moved the petition before the court. A NAB prosecutor stated that the petitioner had been facing an inquiry on corruption charges regarding the Independent Power Producers (IPPs). The Supreme Court had also taken a suo motu notice of the same matter, he added.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the proceedings before the Supreme Court were regarding all 85 IPPs, but NAB initiated action against only one person. He said the petitioner was being victimised over his friendship with Fawad Hassan Fawad, former principal secretary to the prime minister.

The counsel urged the court to ask the government as to why it failed to put prime minister’s advisor Abdul Razzaq Dawood on the ECL as he was also facing the NAB inquiry into the IPPs.

Justice Khan allowed the petition and ordered the government to remove the name of the petitioner from the ECL.

Job quota

The Lahore High Court on Friday restrained the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) from announcing results of nine seats reserved for south Punjab zone allegedly in violation of Article 27 of the Constitution.

Justice Jawad Hassan issued the stay order on a petition moved by Ahmad Sher and others questioning the quota reserved for specific area.


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