ISLAMABAD - A division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday issued an interim order restraining secretary cabinet division from using powers of chairman Oil & Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). The IHC dual bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamir Farooq also directed Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) to complete pending inquiry against chairman OGRA within one-month time.

The division bench issued these directions while hearing the federal government’s intra court appeal (ICA) challenging March 17 decision of IHC single bench which has nullified the federal government’s decision to send chairman OGRA on three months forced leave.

Babar Sattar Advocate, the counsel for Chairman OGRA Saeed Ahmed Khan, contended before the court that if his client has been sent on forced leave on the pretext that an inquiry is pending against him with FPSC then why member gas OGRA is working given the fact that an inquiry is also pending against him with FPSC. Then, the IHC bench inquired from an additional attorney general (AAG) why member gas was working. “If member gas will continue then chairman OGRA will also assume charge of his post,” the IHC bench observed.

At this juncture, the court directed the federal government to submit details of pending inquiries against other members of OGRA within two days’ time. Before that the AAG was arguing that chairman OGRA had neither been dismissed nor he had been suspended. He was only sent on forced leave due to the reason that he may not affect the inquiry proceedings against him. Earlier on March 17, Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi of the IHC had set aside the federal government’s decision to send chairman OGRA on forced leave but then the same IHC bench at the request of the federal government had suspended its own order facilitating federal government to file an ICA in this matter.

Now, the court will resume hearing in this matter on April 13 for further proceedings.