ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday maintained Registrar office’s objections over Director General (DG) National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore Major (r) Shahzad Saleem’s petition 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 by a woman Tayyaba Gul.

A single bench of IHC comprising Acting Chief Justice of IHC Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of the petition of DG NAB who moved the court 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. During the hearing, Justice Aamer was informed that Shahzad Saleem submitted the petition without biometric verification. At this, the IHC judge maintained the Registrar office’s objections and directed the petitioner to remove the same within two days. In his petition, the DG NAB 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 the 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 DG NAB adopted the stance that said applicant 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 (Tayyaba Gul) 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.

| IHC says petition submitted without biometric verification | Directs petitioner

to remove objection within two days

Shahzad said that the Accountability Court No.1 had taken cognizance of said application and matter was 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 allegations leveled in application /complaint filed before the PAC Chairman were also subjudice and pending determination before the Federal Shariat Court, Islamabad.

He argued that the impugned memorandum issued by the PAC was illegal, ultra-vires, without jurisdiction, void ab initio and was 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 had 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.