LAHORE - The Lahore High Court on Wednesday restrained the National Accountability Bureau, Punjab government and others from taking coercive measures against sacked president of Bank of Punjab Hamesh Khan besides ordering all respondents to file a report on his petition within 10 days. Hamesh Khan, who was stopped from attending his office on April 23 by State Bank of Pakistan, has invoked LHC's constitutional jurisdiction seeking directions against actions being taken against him. He has arrayed NAB, GoP, State Bank of Pakistan, Inspector General Punjab and Bank of Punjab through its acting president as respondents. The bench is comprised Justice Mian Najamuz Zaman and Justice Mazhar Hussain Minhas. Hamesh Khan through his counsel Ahmer Bilal Soofi contended that when he took over the bank in 2003, it had been rated at No 37 out of 41 financial institutions in Pakistan and due to his efforts now in 2008 the same bank was rated at No 6 in the country. He further stated that during his tenure the share price of the bank had also improved exponentially and the net worth of the bank was improved from Rs one Billion to Rs 30 Billion at present. He contended that upon detecting certain irregularity in the grant of loan to M/S Haaris Steel, he not only obtained additional securities from the said company to guard the interest of the bank, but also took action against his own officials and thereafter himself as a complainant sent the said case to the NAB through the State Bank of Pakistan. He argued that neither a show cause notice had been issued so far to him nor he had been confronted with any allegation. He said he was politically victimisation as a media trial was manipulated against him. Moreover, the State Bank of Pakistan being the regulator is the competent authority to take any action and that the Government of Punjab has no competence in this respect. Hamesh's counsel said the situation changed soon after a new government took over in Punjab as he faced enormous pressure from officials in respect of bank's affairs. Government officials were forcing him to provide information and material against their political opponents Ch Shujaat Hussain and Ch Pervaiz Elahi. The petitioner said he proved all information and material as per bank record. But official were not happy over that and they started threatening him with dire consequences. He said he refused to be blackmailed that further irked Punjab government as they contacted governor State bank to take action against him. Governor of State Bank was immediately called to Lahore where she had a meeting with PML-N president Mian Shahbaz Sharif. He said soon after the meeting a letter from State bank on April 23 was issued to him without mentioning any substantive issue. However, certain procedural irregularities were pointed out in it. He said letter did not mention as to under what provision of law it was written. However, while he was preparing reply to said letter he received a direction from the state bank on April 26 saying not to attend office anymore. He said that the bank had not removed him at all nor any action under Companies Act 1984 was taken against him. He said he could only be removed under the Punjab Bank Act 1989. He alleged that said direction was issued on the behest of the Punjab government, which was absolutely illegal. He pointed out that his entry to bank and access to the record was denied. He submitted an interim reply to state bank saying that he should be allowed to see record enabling him to rebut allegations of irregularities against him. After that State bank did not carry out any further legal proceedings. He said neither he was given a right of hearing nor a show cause notice issued to him. He said Punjab government was mobilising police to register a case against him but no case had been registered against him as he committed no crime. He said there was no complaint from any shareholder against him. He said BoP like any other bank had extended loans to facilitate business to hundreds of people and business entities. He said all the loans extended by bank were secured as there was no wilful default by any of top 20 loan borrowers. They are retuning their loans periodically and regularly. He said the NAB had no jurisdiction to take cognisance of the case against him as under the NAB ordinance wilful default needs to occur before the NAB intervenes. He said neither state bank had identified any wilful defaulting borrower nor the NAB had pointed out any such irregularities. But the NAB officials were reportedly harassing the petitioner. He further argued state bank could only exercise its authority if wilful default was annexed with misconduct by president that was not the case of petitioner. He requested the court to declare all action being taken against him as illegal and respondents be restrained from doing the same. He further prayed that respondent be directed not to harass petitioner and granted access to bank record enabling him to reply comprehensively to state bank letter. He also sought direction to restrain state bank and Punjab government to proceed against him till legal course under the Companies Ordinance was initiated and concluded against him.