The oath-taking ceremony of new Banking Ombudsman (Mohtasib) has not taken place although over three months have passed since the issuance of a notification about his appointment. The four-year term of the current Banking Ombudsman expired on March 13, 2017, however, the federal government took nearly two years to notify the appointment of a new Banking Ombudsman.
The president of Pakistan appointed Muhammad Kamran Shehzad, former Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), as the new Banking Mohtasib on January 30, 2019 for a four-year term with effect from the date of taking oath of the office, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Law and Justice. The appointment of Banking Ombudsman is governed by Section 82A of Banking Companies Ordinance 1962 and Federal Ombudsman Institutional Reforms Act (FOIRA) 2013. As per law Banking Mohtasib is appointed by the President in consultation with/on the recommendation of Governor State Bank.
However, more than three months have passed since the issuance of the notification; the newly-appointed Banking Ombudsman has not yet been able to assume the charge of his office due to the non administration of oath. As per FOIRA-2013, an Ombudsman shall make oath before the President before he enters upon office. Therefore, the assumption of office of Banking Ombudsman is dependent on the administration of oath by the President of Pakistan.
The delay in administration of oath of office to Banking Mohtasib is not known, sources said. The 4-year tenure of current Banking Mohtasib Anis Ul Hassnain Musavi, who took over charge on March 14, 2013, expired on March 13, 2017, however, following the law he is still continuing because the process of appointment of new Banking Mohtasib (taking oath of office) has not yet been completed.
As per FOIRA-2013, the ombudsman shall hold office for a period of four years and shall not be eligible for any extension of tenure or re-appointment as ombudsman under any circumstances. Provided that the Ombudsman shall continue to hold office after the expiry of his tenure till his successor enters upon the office.