ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered the immediate removal of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Chairman Zubyr Soomro and President/Chief Executive Officer Arif Usmani from their posts.
Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani on Tuesday announced the reserved verdict.
The IHC on June 12 reserved its verdict in four identical petitions challenging the appointment of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president and its chairman.
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani conducted hearing on four petitions filed separately challenging the appointment of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President, Arif Usmani, and board of directors (BoD) Chairman, Zubair Soomro and reserved its verdict after hearing the arguments of all parties.
During the hearing of the petitions moved by four citizens including Syed Jahangir, Javed Iqbal, Fazal Raheem and Latif Qureshi, an official of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) produced the record related to the appointment of NBP President Zubair Soomro.
The court asked that how Soomro had been appointed as chairman NBP when thousands of eligible bankers were available. The NBP’s counsel stated before the court that the State Bank had recommended the name to federal government. The court sought record from finance ministry and reserved the decision.
Earlier, Usmani’s counsel, Ahmed Bilal Sufi, adopted the stance that the NBP had earned good profit under stewardship of current president. He also presented a research by The Wall Street Journal which argues that physics graduates are successful in every field.
The court remarked that if a degree has no connection with a field then a judge could also be appointed as a bank head.
Advocate GM Chaudhry, the counsel of Latif Qureshi, stated that then there were also other people who had topped in physics. He added that this had also violated their rights as they were also entitled to give application for the post in the same way.
Soomro’s lawyer said that the petitions are based on malafide intentions as the petitioner is not an affected party.
Advocate Waqar Naqvi replied that any person can file a petition in any case as per the constitution. He added that there is a new cause of action every day in illegal appointments, while Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has reported corruption in the bank.
Advocate Shahid Kamal in his arguments said that Usmani had shared his CV with Asad Umar and the president has also admitted it many times. He also read out the transcript of Usmani’s interview in the court.
Federal Minister Asad Umar has appointed Arif Usmani as President of National Bank of Pakistan as he was his old friend, which Arif Usmani has confessed in a video clip.