The Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected a petition seeking the removal of Shahzad Akbar from the post of special assistant to the prime minister on accountability on Wednesday.
In a nine-page verdict issued by the IHC Chief Justice Athar Minullah, the court rejected the plea and added some observations to the decision. In the written order, the court mentioned that no record has been submitted that proves Akbar interfered in NAB’s matters.
The verdict also stated that the Constitution allows the president to appoint a maximum number of five advisers upon the advice of the prime minister, adding that it is the prerogative of the premier to appoint any assistant for himself.
In the written order, the court stated that there are no standards set for the appointment of a special assistant to the prime minister. Touching upon the role of a special assistant, the court observed that he/she can become part of the parliament’s proceedings but cannot cast a vote.
The IHC dismissed the request to look into Akbar’s position as the head of the Assets Recovery Unit, saying the issue has been raised at the Supreme Court and the apex court will issue a detailed verdict on the matter.
Wrapping up the petition, the IHC expressed the hope that Akbar will continue to dispense his duties under in accordance with the law.
Justice Isa wanted removal of Shahzad Akbar?
Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court also sought to know whether Akbar’s appointment was made through Federal Public Service Commission and if answers to these four questions are in negative, then how he had been appointed as the ARU head.
He also asked authorities to share the terms and conditions of his job. “Is Shahzad Akbar a Pakistani or does he hold dual nationality?” asked Justice Isa.
Seeking information about SAPM’s tax details, the SC judge asked why he has not made anything public about his family members and the nationality they hold. “What’s his income tax and wealth status and from when he started submitting his tax returns?”
In another question, Justice Isa asked about the bank details, properties and assets owned by the prime minister’s assistant. Justice Isa also demanded the information about the assets owned by SAPM Shahzad Akbar’s family and whether he has declared these in his returns or not.