SC seeks response from govt in SBP Governor appointment case

LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Tuesday summoned a response from the federal government over the appointment of Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Tariq Bajwa.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Taj Haider through his counsel Advocate Latif Khosa. A three-member bench of the SC also ordered all documents pertaining to his appointment to be presented before the bench in the next hearing.

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Khosa argued that Bajwa does not meet the set merit criteria for the position, and that his appointment was illegal and based on bias and prejudice. The petitioner prayed to the court to suspend Bajwa’s appointment as the governor.

Last week, the Islamabad High Court dismissed a petition challenging Bajwa’s appointment, Express News reported.

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The petition, filed by 23 senators largely belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) maintained that the bank did not comply with legal requirements in hiring the governor, thereby violating the 18th Amendment. According to the amendment, the power to appoint the governor of the State Bank had been transferred to the prime minister and his cabinet division.

After the amendment, the petition maintained, the president did not exercise the constitutional power to appoint the SBP governor. The petition also stated that in addition to non-compliance with the rules, the appointment failed to comply with the financial regulator’s standards of procedure for the selection process. The petitioners, therefore, demanded that the appointment be declared illegal under articles 4 and 25 of the Constitution.

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