ISLAMABAD - A Division Bench of the Islamabad High Court Tuesday suspended a single bench’s verdict wherein the court had declared the appointment of Muhammad Aslam Afghani as Chief Executive Officer of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) as null & void.

The dual bench comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani admitted the Intra Court Appeal (ICA) moved by Dr Aslam and the federal government by suspending the judgment of IHC singe bench.

The petitioner moved the ICA through Barrister Adnan Saboor Rohaila who adopted before the court that the verdict given by the single bench is based on erroneous consideration wherein the determination of age at the time of appointment was wrongly concluded as the process of appointment took about more than a year which cannot be attributed to the appellant.

He contended that regarding conflict of interest, the CEO had filed a disclosure holding of nominal public shares of a company which does not constitute conflict of interest being meager through disposed of later.

The counsel added that the status of DRAP itself allows a person from private sector to be eligible to apply for the post then how it can be considered conflict of interest.

After hearing his arguments, the IHC dual bench suspended the verdict of the single bench and deferred the hearing till June 5 for further proceedings.

Earlier, a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah had declared the appointment of CEO of DRAP as null and void.

This petition was moved by Chaudhry Muhammad Usman, an owner of a pharmaceutical company as he had challenged the appointment through his counsel Muhammad Farooq Advocate. In his petition, Usman nominated federal government through the Ministry of Health Services Regulation and Coordination, DRAP and its CEO Muhammad Aslam Afghani, as respondents.