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ISLAMABAD: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued notices to the Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power and Petroleum Tabish Gohar, Chairman of the Board of the National Transmission Dispatch Company (NTDC) Naveed Ismail, and CEO NTDC Azaz Ahmed regarding appointments in the NTDC.

They have been directed to file parawise comments within four weeks.

The LHC's short order states; "The counsel for petitioner submits that Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules, 2013 have not been followed in true spirit and that he has come to the court to seek the enforcement of the rules in question."

Petitioner Engr Aamir Zamir Ahmad Khan has claimed that he had served in power sector companies from 1984 to 2014.

He says he feels aggrieved by the complete and deliberate side-lining of power-sector engineers on account of nepotism.

According to the petitioner, the individual respondents in the petition were "selected" by using a hasty, murky, and skewed process, which bypassed the established checks and balances and proper protocol.

In some cases, the appointments also overlooked "blatant conflicts of interest".

The petitioner submitted that no advertisements were published inviting applications, and the SECP's Rules and Memorandum and Articles of Association were completely disregarded.

According to the petitioner, what is more surprising is that none of the appointed Board members even applied for their positions in 2019, but have still been made part of the final governing body. The petitioner questioned the appointment of Tabish Gohar as SAPM for both the Power Division and the Petroleum Division.

According to the petitioner, Tabish Gauhar in his current role as the SAPM, he renegotiated the contracts of the same IPPs, which he had helped create, and had the ministry release hundreds of millions in capacity payments due to them.

"Whereas, the IPPs created under the 2002 IPP policy were left in the lurch for an extended period of time due to a NAB inquiry until recently.

This seems to imply a biased behaviour, which requires further inquiry," the petitioner added. The case was adjourned until 9th September 2021.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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