ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has adjourned the hearing of the case pertaining to the appointment of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arif Usmani till August 13.
Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani on Friday conducted the hearing on the application of former NBP assistant vice president Javed Iqbal against the incumbent NBP president’s appointment. The case was adjourned till August 13 owing to absence of the petitioner’s lawyer.
The application filed by Javed Iqbal in the IHC alleged that the government has appointed the NBP CEO in violation of the codal formalities and the eligibility criteria mandatory for such appointments.
A vacancy announcement advertised for the position of NBP CEO/president published in 2018 stated a minimum education requirement of a bachelor’s degree with preference for candidates with a masters degree in banking, finance, economics, business administration or related fields from a local or foreign institution recognised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
The advertisement further stated experience requirements of at least five years at a senior position in the financial sector.
Moreover, the minimum age requirement for applicants was also decreased from 50 to 40 years in the advertisement.
According to the applicant, as per a report published in Dawn, the cabinet approved the appointment of Arif Usmani as CEO of NBP on November 24, 2018 while the notification of his appointment was issued by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on February 12, 2019.
The applicant contended that the recruitment process was carried out by the MoF in clear violation of public sector companies (appointment of chief executive) guidelines 2015.
The applicant further alleged that qualification requirement for the post was decreased without any lawful justification and that Arif Usmani does not have any relevant qualification pertaining to the banking profession.
Moreover, according to the applicant, Arif Usmani was appointed as the NPB CEO in spite of the availability of highly qualified banking professionals.
The applicant further alleged that Arif Usmani deliberately concealed his dual nationality at the time of submission of application.
Moreover, he said that the NBP president was asked to surrender his dual nationality due to which the notification of his appointment was delayed till February 2019.
Arif Usmani had surrendered his dual nationality in January 2019.