IHC makes it three in a row, reinstates AGPR


ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court on Friday suspended the official notification about the suspension of Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue Tahir Mehmood. Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi reinstated Mehmood by suspending the notification of December 18. The high court had also reinstated the chairmen of National Database and Registration Authority and Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority through stay orders a few days back. During Friday’s proceedings, the court noted that the points raised by the petitioner needed consideration, so the judge issued notices to the finance secretary, auditor general of Pakistan, establishment division secretary. They were directed to submit reply within 15 days.
The court will again take up the matter in the first week of January next year.
On December 18, the Establishment Division suspended Tahir Mehmood as the accountant general of Pakistan Revenue for a period of three months.
In his petition, Mehmood submitted that the notification did not give any reason for his suspension. Originally Mehmood will be retiring as the accountant general of Pakistan Revenue in March next year on reaching the age of superannuation.
Mehmood’s counsel submitted that he had been suspended due to implementation of the Supreme Court orders in a matter related to release of development funds for the electoral constituency of former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
Mir Aurangzeb contended that In line with the apex court judgment, the AGPR had advised the State Bank of Pakistan governor not to release any advance to the federal government from the Federal Consolidated Fund.
The apex court, in its judgment of December 5, observed that “while giving assent to a grant which is to be utilised by the executive at its discretion, has to follow the procedure provided in Articles 80 to 84 of the Constitution as well as the rules of procedure, 2007. However, such discretionary grant cannot be spent at the absolute discretion of the executive and the discretion has to be exercised in a structured manner”.
The lawyer told the court that Mehmood had forwarded corruption references to the National Accountability Bureau against some senior government officials that was another reason behind his suspension. He had also sent references against Finance Secretary Waqar Masood for release of Rs317 billion to oil marketing companies in a dubious manner, added the counsel.
Another reference for releasing billions of rupees to a private contractor, AIRRS, in violation of the procurement rules for construction of a hospital and a hostel in Afghanistan had also been forwarded to the NAB.
The counsel told the court that his client had forwarded another corruption reference regarding the procurement of polio vaccines. He said the government had suspended his client in an ironical manner and did not even appreciate his valuable efforts.