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Peshawar

September 13, 2017

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PHC suspends BoK MD termination notice

PHC suspends BoK MD termination notice

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday suspended Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s termination notice issued to the Bank of Khyber Managing Director Shamsul Qayyum till next order of the court.

A division bench comprising Justice Roohul Amin Khan and Justice Younas Thaheem also issued notice to the respondents, including the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, to submit reply in the writ petition.

The bench issued the directions in a writ petition of Bank of Khyber (BoK) managing director in which he claimed that he was being victimised for resisting political interference by the provincial finance minister Muzaffar Sayyid in the bank’s affairs.

During the course of hearing, the petitioner’s lawyers Abdul Rauf Rohaila and Abdul Latif Afridi submitted before the bench that the Finance Department had issued ‘termination notice’ to the petitioner on September 6 stating the provincial cabinet unanimously decided to issue him the ‘seven-day prior written termination notice’.

It added that after the expiry of the notice Shamsul Qayyum’s contract agreement would cease to exist.

The lawyers argued that termination notice by the provincial government to the petitioner was unlawful, abuse of power and based on mala fide.

The lawyers contended that in view of his outstanding performance the provincial government should reappoint the petitioner for another two years to complete five-year tenure in term of Section 12 of the Bank of Khyber Act and that the refusal of the respondents, including the provincial government, to do so was illegal and based on mala fide intent.

They said the managing director was appointed for a term of three years on contract extendable to further two years in term of Section 12 of the act.

The counsels informed the bench that as per the Banking Policy and Regulation Department (BPRD) Circular No. 09 of 2008, issued on August 19, 2008, amendments had been made to Regulation G-1 of Prudential Regulations, providing that whenever the board of directors or the relevant appointing authority considered to remove its president, chief executive officer, country head or country manager before the expiry of term of office through the defined statutory process, the State Bank of Pakistan must invariably be informed at least two months ahead of the implementation of such decision along with the reasons for the same.

In the writ petition, the BoK MD claimed that the relevant selection committee had recommended him on September 11, 2014 as the most suitable person for the post of the post and the notification of his appointment as the bank’s head was issued on October 1, 2014.

He added that an agreement was also executed the same day and signed by him and finance secretary to enable him to assume the office on October 2, 2014.

The petitioner said that he introduced strong policy guidelines, internal controls and business practices in line with the banking industry and requirements of the relevant regulatory authorities.

“Instructions were issued from time to time by the office of the finance minister and political gatherings were arranged in the garb of the opening of the bank’s branches by the said respondent and that a huge amount of BoK accountholders had to be incurred,” he alleged.

The petitioner said he didn’t bow to political pressure, especially on the appointments, transfers and promotion of the bank’s staff members.

He said the finance minister backed by his political party (Jamaat-i-Islami) launched a campaign against him and the BoK management and news items to this effect appeared in newspapers on April 14, 2016.

The petitioner said the allegations made by the minister were without any substance and, therefore, in consequence of consensus of members of the BoK board of directors a clarification was published in newspapers on April 15, 2016.

He said the minister and certain MPAs demanded that action should be taken against him through the committee of the provincial assembly in view of allegations appearing in the newspapers and therefore, a committee headed by senior minister for irrigation along with minsters for health, public health engineering and law and parliamentary affairs was constituted.

“The parliamentary committee after due deliberations held that the petitioner has made violation of agreement of his appointment issuing offending advertisement and making public dispute relating to the administrative issues. It recommended that such behaviour shall be avoided in future and desired that instruction be issued to all departments and bodies restraining then from making inter-department dispute public.”

The petitioner alleged that after finding the tactics to remove him from his post to be unsuccessful, the finance minister and Jamaat-i-Islami MPAs put political pressure on the provincial government and forced it to terminate his services on the old allegations already adjudged and resolved by a parliamentary committee.

The respondents in the petition are the KP government through the secretary of the Establishment Department, provincial finance secretary, secretary of the Cabinet Department and Planning and Development Department, finance minister Muzaffar Sayyid and governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.

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