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[January 18, 2014]
IHC suspends AGPR's forced leave order
(Daily Regional Times (Pakistan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The Islamabad High Court Thursday suspended the forced leave order of Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) Tahir Mahmood and issued notices to the respondents, including secretaries of Establishment, Finance and Commerce divisions.
The respondents were also directed to file their replies within 15 days on the forced leave order of AGPR.
A single-member bench of IHC, comprising Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi, issued the directives while hearing a plea of Mahmood against his forced leave notification issued by the Commerce Division on Jan 9.
During the proceedings, counsel for Mahmood, Mir Aurangzeb, apprised the court that the order to send his client on forced leave was unlawful and illegal as the notification had been issued without approval from the Auditor General of Pakistan who is the administrative head.
He argued that under rule 5(1) (i) of 1973, the government servant can either be suspended or required to proceed on leave, therefore, after the issuance of suspension order of his client, no order of forced leave could be passed against him.
The impinged order regarding forced leave is mala fide on the score that the petitioner would be retiring on April 5, 2014 and there are less than three months now, he maintained.
Aurangzeb further contended that the forced leave order to his client could not have been issued without giving an opportunity of hearing to him. He alleged that the charge sheet served upon the petitioner and inquiry proceedings against the petitioner were mala fide and without any lawful basis.
He said the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) had already endorsed the actions of the petitioner, therefore the impugned order should be set aside. On Dec 18, the Establishment Division had suspended AGPR Tahir Mehmood for a period of three months.
However, on Dec 20, IHC Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi had suspended the Establishment Division's order and also issued notices to the respondents.
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