ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has summoned Managing Director (MD) Utility Stores Corporation (USC) to appear before the court on October 16 and submit his reply in a petition challenging his eligibility as the head of the organisation.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has directed the MD Utility Stores Corporation (USC) Khaqan Murtaza to appear before the court on the next hearing and explain that ‘under which authority he is holding the post of MD USC if he was not part of the competitive process’.
The judge has also directed Secretary Establishment Division and Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production to submit their para-wise comments in this matter.
Justice Siddiqui issued these directions in a petition of Muhammad Nawaz Khan who moved the court through a ‘quo warantoo’ writ petition and challenged the eligibility of Khaqan Murtaza as MD of USC.
In the petition, he contended by saying that being an officer of district management group of grade 20, Murtaza was not eligible to be appointed at the said post of grade 21 and moreover his name was not included in the summary that was forwarded to the prime minister.
The petitioner Nawaz Khan through his counsel Ali Murad Baloch advocate maintained before the court that Murtaza was appointed as MD USC on August 15, 2013 illegally, unlawfully and without jurisdiction.
It is pertinent to mention here that it was on April 13 this year when the IHC bench upheld the caretaker government’s decision to sack the former MD USC Maj Gen (Retd) Muhammad Farooq. The former MD had challenged his dismissal before the court by saying that the elected government appointed him and a caretaker government could not remove him.
However, the IHC bench while holding the caretaker government’s decision to sack Farooq had directed Ministry of Industries to appoint the senior most official as caretaker MD USC. Later it was on August 15, 2013 when the government appointed Khaqan Murtaza as new MD USC.
Talking to The Nation here on Sunday, counsel for the petitioner told that the IHC bench while upholding the decision of sacking Maj Gen (Retd) Muhammad Farooq had directed the IHC to initiate process for the appointment of MD USC. He said that in the light of these orders, Ministry of Industries and Production moved a summary before the Establishment Division proposing three names to be appointed as MD USC.
Petitioner’s counsel told that the Establishment Division changed all the three names that were proposed to them by the Ministry of Industries and forwarded four new names to the Principle Secretary to the Prime Minister.
However, he informed that neglecting all the proposed names, the Principle Secretary recommended Khaqan Murtaza for his appointment as the MD.
The petitioner has prayed to the court to declare appointment of Murtaza as null and void. Now, the court would take up this matter on October 16 for further proceedings.