LAHORE The Lahore High Court has observed that no public functionary can pass illegal and unauthorised order despite exceptional circumstances and compelling administrative needs want him to do it. The Bench of Justice Ahmed Farooq Sheikh and Justice Muhammad Qasim made the said observation in the detailed judgment passed on a petition against the continuation of former Judge Rana Zahid Mahmood as Director General NAB, Rawalpinidi after expiry of his one year contractual appointment. While restraining Rana Zahid from performing his duties, the Bench observed that he was allowed continuation in service apparently in view of exceptional situation which however could not be a ground to pass an illegal and authorised order. The extension was given by the Deputy Chairman NAB when the Chairman office was vacant. The Bench held that in the absence of the Chairman, Deputy Chairman cannot act for him. The Bench noted from the record, that the Chairman NAB had delegated certain powers to the Deputy Chairman on October 15,2010 in terms of Section 7-A and 34(A) of the NAB Ordinance, 1999, but the same did not include those pertaining to officers up to BS 21/DG, on which the DG was appointed for one year. A plaint reading of the order dated 15 October, 2010 would reveal that the Deputy Chairman did not possess any delegated power to appoint any officer in BS-21 much less than extending the tenure of contract of an officer, who was initially appointed by the Chairman, NAB, with the approval of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. It is also worth consideration that at present the office of the Chairman NAB is vacant. It has been held in the case of Bank of Punjab and another versus Haris Steel Industries (Pvt) Limited (PLD 2010 SC 1109), that provisions of Section 6 of the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance, 1999 permit a Deputy Chairman to act as Chairman NAB only when the Chairman is available but is temporarily absent or is temporarily unable to perform functions of his office e.g on account of illness, etc and the said provision did not allow a Deputy Chairman to act as the Chairman, when the said office was vacant. Rana Zahid Mehmood was appointed as DG NAB, Rawalpindi in BPS-21 by the Chairman NAB with the approval of the Prime Minister for a period of one year, which stands expired on April 20, 2011. However, the Deputy Chairman NAB temporarily allowed Rana Zahid Mehmood to function as Director General NAB (Rawalpindi) with additional charge of Director General NAB (Punjab) as an interim arrangement on in April last. Interestingly, despite conceding the legal position in the order dated April 20, 2011 that the extension in the contract of the DG could only be granted by Chairman NAB, the Deputy Chairman NAB has allowed Rana Zahid Mehmood to continue to perform duties temporarily. Apparently the impugned order dated April 20, 2011 has been passed on the basis of exceptional circumstances and compelling administrative reasons. Suffice it to observe that the existence of exceptional circumstances, whatsoever, do not vest any power or authority on a public functionary knowingly to pass an illegal and unauthorized order. Moreover, the additional charge of a vacant post could only be given for an initial period not exceeding three months with the specific approval of the Chairman, according to Rule 3.35 of NAB Employees Terms and Conditions of Service (TCS), 2002. However, the same may be extended for another three months. Rana Zahid Mehmood was given the additional charge of Director General NAB (Punjab) vide order dated July 22, 2010 and the aforementioned period of six months has already expired, it added. Notice to 'N leaders: The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued to notice to concerned leaders of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and other respondents for June 23 on a petition moved by former PML-N MPA Shumaila Rana to seek restoration of her assembly membership which she quit under, what she claims, duress from the party leaders. Last day Rana Asadullah Khan Advocate from the respondent side told the court that he will defend only Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Iqbal Ahmed in the case so the court may issue notice to other respondents so that they may engage counsel to defend their case. On this, Justice Umar Ata Bandial issued notice to the respondents, most of them leaders of PML-N leaders including Khawaja Saad Rafique, Zulfiqar Khosa.