ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Wednesday ordered the federal government to remove Siddiqul Farooq from the position of chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board.

Farooq was appointed as chairman ETPB in October 2014 by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing the suo motu notice pertaining to the Katas Raj pond drying.

The historic Katas Raj pond, a revered site for Hindus, is said to have depleted due to the operations of cement factories nearby which have sucked out the underground water.

The bench, while hearing the case on January 30, 2018, had sought a complete profile of Siddiqul Farooq. Hearing the case, the bench had fined Assistant Advocate General Punjab Asma Hamid Rs1000 and issued a notice to Farooq to appear in person. The chief justice had noted that a person who was a member of the political party’s media cell was made ETPB chairman.

During the proceeding, the chief justice remarked that how Farooq could remain on his post when his term has expired, adding this is a quasi-judicial post.

Farooq, appearing before the court, said he worked at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz office where the chief justice also visited sometimes.

The chief justice observed how long will political appointments continued to be made in the country.

In the last hearing, the chief justice had remarked that Farooq’s credentials for the appointment are his 30 years of political service. He said that someone who used to collect newspapers in the party office was appointed to such an important post.

Farooq was previously the PML-N's spokesman as well as Nawaz Sharif's press secretary during a previous tenure as prime minister. Farooq has also served as the House Building Finance Corporation chairman in the past.

Former ETPB chairman Asif Hashmi had resigned in March 2013 when the Federal Investigation Agency began investigation against him for financial misappropriation.