Islamabad-The appointment of acting chief executive officer of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Sheikh Akhtar Hussain has been challenged for his alleged involvement in financial embezzlements.

The petitioner, Noor Muhammad Mahar, challenged the appointment in Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The petitioner pleaded before the court that the appointment of Sheikh Akhtar Hussain was made in illegal manner by ignoring court verdicts with respect to appointments on public-sector posts.

The current CEO of the DRAP is facing a case and inquiry of being a ghost staffer in the department as National Accountability Bureau (NAB) declared him dead in millions of rupees references filed against him in 2001 and 2004.

The petitioner pleaded that Sheikh Akhtar Hussain was involved in two corruption cases filed by NAB against him and three others. Sheikh was declared dead in the said references, the petitioner said.

During trial of the said references, other accused were convicted by an accountability court, but the proceedings against Sheikh were dropped as he was supposed as dead.

That petitioner also challenged the orders of the accountability court for dropping out Sheikh’s name on account of his supposed death while actually he was serving in the DRAP against a grade-17 post.

The petitioner pleaded that appointment of Sheikh as acting CEO reflected that it was against the statutory requirements prescribed under the law.

The petitioner submitted that even for making acting appointment, the authorities concerned have to keep the prescribed qualifications in mind which, he said, were omitted in the case in hand.-

“Failing to advertise the post before the date of retirement of the incumbent CEO clearly speaks out the malice and failure of the functionaries in discharging their obligations under the statute,” stated the petition.

The DRAP in a statement stated that a group of criminals involved in illicit businesses of manufacturing spurious, unregistered and substandard drugs had tried to defame its officers who took stand to stop their illegal activities and refused to bow to their pressure for compromise.

In fact, the NAB cleared the officer in that case where he was wrongly shown as dead. In this regard, the NAB submitted a detailed report in the IHC maintaining that the petitioner was trying to mislead the court and all adverse allegations levelled against the officer were false, baseless and without any evidence.

The DRAP said that the propaganda against DRAP officer did not stopped here, as now the spurious drug dealer mafia was engaging media houses to disseminate false news against the officer, which is further from the truth. The officer has continuous and seamless service record since his appointment in 1991 in Ministry of Health and later in the DRAP. There is nothing on record for his association in any such inquiry by the NAB, the DRAP said.

The DRAP revealed that the network involved in maligning the honest officers had been unearthed and relevant agencies had been requested to bring the culprits to the court so that poor masses can be saved from spurious drugs.