ISLAMABAD - A judge of the Islamabad High Court Justice Aamer Farooq Tuesday recused himself from hearing of an Intra Court Appeal of former president of National Bank of Pakistan Saeed Ahmad against the single bench’s verdict which maintained his removal from the post.

Division Bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the ICA of the former NBP president.

During the hearing, Saeed’s counsel Faiz Rasool Jalbani raised objection over formation of the bench saying that Justice Aamer had been remained legal advisor of the NBP. Therefore, he requested to constitute a new bench to hear this matter.

At this, Justice Aamer excused to hear Saeed Ahmad’s ICA and sent the same to Chief Justice IHC Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi to form a new bench.

In the ICA, the applicant has requested for justice based on the prevalent law. The petitioner pointed out that if a person is to be removed from the position just because he/she is accused and there is reference against him/her, then there were a number of high profile cases, where the accused have remained on their positions.

Jalbani said that his client did not breach any term or conditions of the contract and also MBP does not have provision for suspension. The impinged notification is arbitrary, fanciful, whimsical, and repugnant to the conscience.

He contended that the appellant has the reason to believe that he was going to be removed without any reason as the Secretary Cabinet Division is reported to have accorded approval to removal of the appellant. It is prayed that ICA is allowed and the order dated 24-9-18 of IHC and suspension notification dated 28-8-18 may be set aside.

Earlier, a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah had Saeed Ahmad’s petition challenging his removal.

The petitioner moved the court through his counsel Faiz Rasool Jalbani and cited Prime Minister through Principal Secretary, federal government through secretary Finance division, secretary cabinet division, secretary establishment division, Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and secretary borad of directors of NBP as respondents.

Saeed stated in the petition that the appointment of the petitioner is contractual in essence and he has not breached any term/condition fixed by the government in view of Section 11 (3) (a) of the Banks (Nationalization) Act 1974.

“Neither the petitioner has done nor has been alleged to have done the acts/omissions which may render him liable to removal in view of Section 11 (3) (a) (b) (c) and section 11 (12) of the Banks (Nationalisation) Act, 1974,” said the petitioner.

He added that whole of the Banks (Nationalisation) Act 1974 nowhere confers the power upon respondent No 2 (Secretary Finance) to place the petitioner under suspension or restrain him from performing his functions.

He contended that the petitioner was condemned unheard and he had never been summoned by the secretary finance for explaining his position if asked. “No show cause has ever been issued. No charge has been framed by department against the petitioner. No department inquiry/proceedings is/was pending against the petitioner. The accumulative effect of the aforesaid facts indicates un-rebuttable presumption that the respondent No 2 has subjected the petitioner to political victimization,” maintained the former president of NBP.

He argued that notification of his suspension is arbitrary, fanciful, whimsical, capricious and repugnant to the conscience. Therefore, he prayed to the court that the said notification dated August 28 may be set aside being illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, arbitrary and void ab initio.

He also requested the court that the petitioner may be allowed to immediately resume his office and to perform in the capacity of President/CEO of the NBP till January 1, 2019.