ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court on Monday issued notices to Ministry of Finance secretary and the State Bank of Pakistan governor over the alleged illegal appointment of Tariq Bajwa as State Bank of Pakistan governor.

As many as 23 senators belonging to opposition parties last month challenged the appointment of Tariq Bajwa as SBP governor.

They made secretary finance and SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa, respondents.

The petitioners stated that the appointment of Tariq Bajwa as SBP governor on July 7 for a period of three years was “unlawful”.

They argued that in terms of Section 3(2) of SBP ACT, 1956, the bank was a corporate body “by the name of State Bank of Pakistan, having perpetual succession and a common seal, and shall by the said name sue and be sued.”

The senators in their petition said the governor of SBP as per section 10(1) of the SBP Act was the chief executive officer and on behalf of the board of directors, direct and control the whole affairs of the bank.

They said that though no qualification criteria was laid down in the SBP Act for the appointment of the governor, yet his functions and duties as per Section 9A and provision of SBP Act required educational qualification, practical knowledge, competence and experience.

The senators contended that the unique and specialised character of the SBP required appointment of best available competent and experienced person through open advertisement as its governor.

“This is the only way to preserve the autonomous status of the institution as well [as] to ensure its effectiveness,” they said.

The petitioner argued that selection of the best person for the job, with the right qualification and experience, had been ignored in the present case.

“The PML-N government has all along indulged in ruthless violation of the legal requirements and procedures in making appointments and filling vacancies in all the key positions of state departments and institutions. Such methodology was consciously adopted to use them for their personal benefits, self-aggrandizement and extract illegal works. The head of [the] SECP is an example in hand who under orders of the Supreme Court is behind the bars facing criminal charges,” the petitioners state.

The senators contended that the appointment in view of above submissions was illegal, unjustified, void ab-initio, whimsical, capricious, arbitrary, without lawful authority and of no legal effect.

The senators who signed the resolution included Taj Haider, Azam Swati, Rubina Khalid, Kamil Ali Agha, Shibli Faraz, Nighat Mirza, Maulana Tanvirul Haq Thanvi, Sehar Kamran, Daud Achakzai, Rozi Khan Kakar, Saifullah Magsi, Shahi Syed, Ahmad Hassan and Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail.