ISLAMABAD  -   The Federation on Wednesday sought time from Islamabad High Court (IHC) to submit its reply in a petition filed against the appointment of Dr Amir Ahmed as Chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).

A single Bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition and deferred it for one week after directing the Federation to submit its para-wise comments in this matter within one week.

During the hearing, Assistant Attorney General Farrukh Dal appeared before the court and sought time for submission of reply in this connection.

The court directed the Federation to submit reply in this matter in one week and adjourned the hearing.  Major General (Retd) Muhammad Saad Khattak filed the petition through his counsels Raja Inam Ameen Minhas Advocate and Chaudhry Waqas Advocate and cited Ministry of Religious Affairs, ETPB, Federal Cabinet, Cabinet Division and Selection Committee as respondents.

The counsels adopted in the petition that an advertisement had been placed in January 2019 for the post of ETPB Chairman for which 154 people including the petitioner submitted applications.

Then, they said that a six-member Committee was constituted for examining the requests and after scrutiny, 10 candidates including the petitioner out of 154 candidates were called for interview of which three were finalised.

They added that three shortlisted candidates included Muhammad Saad Khattak, Dr Amir Ahmed and Muhammad Hafeezullah Khan while the petitioner Muhammad Saad Khattak was on top of the list.

However, the abilities of the petitioner were ignored and Dr Amir Ahmed was appointed ETPB Chairman and no reason was specified for his posting.

The petitioner stated that summary of appointment of the Chairman came under discussion several times in the Cabinet but the PM could not take any decision owing to pressure of a few Ministers.

He mentioned that during the Cabinet meeting on April 9, the Prime Minister decided to interview the approved candidates himself but the appointment of the ETPB Chairman was not on the agenda.

He added that despite this, some members of the Cabinet forced the PM to go against his decision and appoint Dr Amir who had retired on March 9, 2019 from his post and was in service during the process and had been given second priority by the Committee.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to stop the government from issuing a notification and termed the appointment of Chairman as illegal.