ISLAMABAD - Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday suspended government's notification for sending Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) Tahir Mahmood on forced leave.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi issued notices to the secretaries of establishment, finance and commerce divisions and auditor general of Pakistan. The court also directed the respondents to file reply within 15 days on the forced leave order of the AGPR.

The single bench issued these directions while hearing a petition of AGPR Tahir Mahmood against his forced leave notification issued by the commerce division on January 13, 2014.

During the hearing, counsel for petitioner, Mir Aurangzaib Advocate informed the court that the order to send his client on forced leave was unlawful and illegal as the notification has been issued without approval from the auditor general of Pakistan who was administrative head of him. He contended that under rule 5(1) (i) of the government servants Rule 1973, the employee can either be suspended or required to proceed on leave, therefore after the issuance of suspension order, no order of forced leave could be passed against Tahir Mahmood. He argued that the impinged order regarding forced leave was mala fide on the score that the petitioner would be retiring on April 5, 2014 and there were less than three months now.

The counsel further contended that forced leave order to his client could not have been issued without giving an opportunity of hearing to him. He alleged that the charge sheet served upon petitioner and inquiry proceedings against the petitioner were mala fide and without any lawful basis. He said the AGP has already endorsed the actions of the petitioner; therefore the impugned order liable to be set aside.

It is worthy to mention here that the establishment division had suspended AGPR Tahir Mehmood for a period of three months on December 18. However, IHC Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi suspended the establishment division's notification and also issued notices to the respondents on December 20.