ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore Director General (DG) Major (r) Shahzad Saleem Wednesday approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the summons issued to him by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly (NA) to answer the sexual harassment charges against him as well as former NAB chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal by a woman Tayyaba Gul. The NAB DG moved the IHC through his counsel Safdar Shaheen Pirzada Advocate and cited federation through Secretary National Assembly (NA), Chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Secretary PAC and additional secretary PAC as respondents and requested the court to declare the notice issued to him as illegal. The petitioner stated that the PAC issued an office memorandum whereby it was intimated that a meeting of the PAC is scheduled to be held on 07.07.2022 to discuss the agenda of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) i.e. “Comprehensive briefing on the recoveries made by NAB with reference to meeting of the PAC held on 07.06.2022 communicated to NAB vide a letter dated 21.06 2022 while the petitioner was again summoned for 14.07.2022 (verbally). He added that contents of said complaint/application are irrelevant to matters and the PAC meeting, same has no connection, whatsoever, with the formal transaction of business as detailed in agenda; hence, the same is required to be excluded by the respondents being ultra-vires of their jurisdiction and legal peripheries. The petitioner further requested the court to issue a stay order on the PAC notice, contending that the woman already has applications pending in a Lahore accountability court and another in the Federal Shariat Court. Shehzad Saleem further alleged that there is “a possibility that the petition being filed for personal gains could not be ruled out” and argued that the woman in question has other “relevant forums available”. The PAC has gone beyond its powers to initiate this inquiry, the NAB official said in the petition.

 

The NAB DG adopted the stance that Tayyaba Gul had already filed an application on 07.02.2022 with the accountability court containing same set of facts and allegations for summoning NAB officers in person and seeking a direction to NAB for initiating criminal proceedings against complainants, witnesses and all officials.

He further said that the applicant also sought a direction to NAB for referring the matter to the Accountability Court under Section 18(h) of NAO, 1999 and prayed for their conviction accordingly.

Shahzad said that the Accountability Court No.1 has taken cognizance of said application and matter being subjudice before the court of competent jurisdiction.

He contended that any parallel proceedings shall be equivalent to stampede the jurisdiction of the accountability court. He added that it is worthwhile to submit here that the allegations leveled in application /complaint filed before the PAC Chairman was also subjudice and pending determination before the Federal Shariat Court, Islamabad.

The NAB DG argued that the impugned said memorandum had been issued in utter oblivion of the fact that the relevant rules embargo the respondents to entertain suchlike matters which are beyond the scope of PAC as delineated/mentioned in the Rules; hence, it is established that it has been issued in excess of the jurisdiction as ordained in the Constitution and Rules made thereto rendering the same as an illegal, void, and without jurisdiction action which warrants kind indulgence of this Court.

He also argued that the impugned Memorandum issued by the PAC is illegal, ultra-vires, without jurisdiction, void ab initio and is liable to be set aside.

The DG maintained that a bare perusal of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business, in the National Assembly, 2007 reveals that the Public Accounts Committee has issued the impugned memorandum in clear contravention of the prescribed rules and against the spirit of the constitution which merits kind indulgence of this court.

Therefore, he prayed that the impugned memorandum issued by the PAC in excess of their jurisdiction and proceedings thereof may kindly be declared illegal, void ab initio, ultra vires, of no legal effect and may kindly be set aside, in the interest of justice and fair play.

He further prayed that till the adjudication and final decision of the main writ petition by this court, operation of the impugned office memorandum dated 28.06.2022 and proceedings thereof may kindly be suspended.