Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday served notices on Finance Secretary and other respondents in a writ petition challenging the appointment of Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq Hijazi as Chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

A single member bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing of the petition moved by a petitioner Riaz Ahmed who has challenged the appointment before the court and issued the notices to the respondents.

The petitioner moved the petition through his counsel G M Chaudhary Advocate and cited Federation of Pakistan through secretary ministry of finance, secretary ministry of Law and Justice and Chairman SECP Zafar-ul-Haq Hijazi as respondents in the petition. Riaz Ahmad informed the court that chairman SECP Hijazi was initially appointed as the Commissioner SECP in 1999 and after completion of first tenure was again re-appointed and his second tenure was expired in 2004. The petitioner added that the incumbent SECP Chairman Hijazi now is able to secure third term appointment only due to his connections with a minister in the federal government. He argued before the court that the posts of the commissioner were not advertised to fulfil the statutory requirement of expertise, experience and eminence.

The petitioner contended that the appointment of the Hijazi as the Commissioner, being third time, is in violation of relevant laws and judgments of the superior courts. He further adopted that the appointment was a result of nepotism as Hijazi had been a former colleague of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The petitioner adopted before the court that appointment of Hijazi should be declared as illegal and void ab initio. Therefore, he prayed to the court to declare that the finance ministry has misused its powers and investigations should be made to identify responsible persons involved in such illegal appointment.

He further requested the court that Chairman SECP Hijazi should be restrained from performing his official functions and his appointment as SECP chairman be set aside.

After hearing of the arguments, the IHC bench issued notices to all the respondents and adjourned the proceedings with date in office.