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IHC orders govt to form ZTBL board


ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the federal government to constitute a board of the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL), saying that an important public sector financial has virtually remained dysfunctional for the last three years because of the inaction on part of the government.

During hearing of the petition against the demotion of the bank officers, Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that if the board was not formed, the finance secretary would appear in the court in person on the next hearing on December 1.

Advocate Omar Gilani and Barrister Afzal Hussain appeared in the court on behalf of the petitioners. The court order said that the three-year delay in forming the federal government’s board undoubtedly affected the applicant’s rights.

“It is alarming that an important financial institution in the public sector i.e. the Zarai Tarqiati Bank Limited has virtually remained dysfunctional for the last three years because of the inaction on part of the Federal Government,” the court order said.

“This indeed is contrary to the principles of good governance besides violating the fundamental rights of not only the petitioners but the general public as well,” it said, adding that the failure of the federal government to constitute the board “has definitely prejudiced the rights of the petitioners…”

The order said: “Nonetheless, the Federal Government is directed to fulfil its statutory duty by constituting the Board of the respondent Bank before the date fixed. In case the Board is not constituted within the specified time, then the Secretary, Ministry of Finance will appear in person to explain the reasons for keeping the respondent Bank virtually dysfunctional for almost three years.”

The next hearing is set for December 1.



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