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ISLAMABAD: Lahore High Court (LHC) has sought original record of appointment of Chairman National Electric Power Regulatory (Nepra) Tauseef H. Farooqi.

Chairman Nepra’s appointment has been challenged by Tanveer Ahmad Advocate, who is closely monitoring the country’s power sector, through a public interest petition.

According to LHC order of Justice, Shujat Ali Khan, Barrister Sharjeel Adnan Sheikh Advocate appeared for the petitioner while Abid Hussain Chaudhary, Assistant Attorney General was on Court’s call.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that though Tauseef H. Farooqi did not fulfil the eligibility criteria, as set out in the advertisement published for appointment against the post of Chairman, Nepra, but the competent authority appointed him against the said post oblivious of the requisite criteria. In addition, since the main role of Nepra is to regulate public utilities, Chairman Nepra who has neither relevant qualification nor required experience cannot be considered a fit person for the said job.

It was further contended that according to resume of Chairman Nepra which he himself uploaded on Linkedin, he showed himself to be a graduate in Executive Program in Management from Columbia Business School of USA, which, according to information of the petitioner, is just a certificate and not a degree.

The High Court order noted that the resume relies on the following: Selling of National Assets including PlA at throwaway price (2012 in the SCMR 1952), Muhammad Ashraf Tiwana and others versus Pakistan and others (2013 SCMR 836) and Muhammad Yasin versus Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Establishment and others (PLD 2012 SC 132).

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Assistant Attorney General submitted that in the first instance the petitioner has to prove his locus-standi to file the petition and relies on Asif Hassan and others versus Sabir Hussain and others(2019 PLC (C.S.) 1375) and Ayaz Ahmed Khan versus Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Ministry of Interior Islamabad and 4 others (2021 PLC (C.S.)1394).

After hearing respective contentions of both the sides, the LHC issued notice to the respondents. Further, Federation of Pakistan, Cabinet Division, Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Nepra have been directed to file their report with para-wise comments.

The Assistant Attorney General has been directed to ensure production of original record relating to appointment of Tauseef H. Farooqi against the post of Chairman, Nepra, on April 25, 2022.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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