ISLAMABAD   - The Islamabad High Court Friday declared the appointment of Muhammad Aslam Afghani as Chief Executive Officer of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) as null & void.  

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition in which the appointment of CEO of DRAP was challenged on the basis of conflict of interest and disposed of it by declaring the appointment as null and void. 

This petition was moved by Chaudhry Muhammad Usman an owner of a pharmaceutical company, challenging the appointment of Afghani 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. 

He contended that Afghani was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan on 01.02.2015 while, at the time of his appointment, he was a shareholder in a company engaged in the business/manufacture of drugs and pharmaceuticals. Therefore, the petitioner said, by virtue of section 18 Afghani was not qualified to hold such a post as he had professional as well as financial interest as the drugs manufactured by the said company were required to be registered by the Authority of which he was the Chief Executive Officer. The petitioner argued that at the time of his appointment, the respondent did not disclose thing about his shareholding in the company.  

The sale of drugs manufactured by the company are also subject to registration and grant of licence by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan and Afghani had thus personal interest in promoting the business of the said company and grant of licence to it. 

Furthermore, he added, when Afghani was appointed CEO of DRAP, he was overage beyond the prescribed age limit. 

The petitioner maintained that the respondent, for the reasons stated above has no legal authority to hold the office of Chief Executive Officer of DRAP. 

After hearing the arguments, the IHC bench disposed of the petition after issuing the aforementioned order.