ISLAMABAD               -        The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday issued notices to federation and Ministry of National Health Services Regulations in a petition challenging the appointment of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition filed by Muhammad Rizwan Asghar challenging Asim Rauf’s appointment as CEO of DRAP and directed the respondents for filing report and para-wise comments. The court also directed to issue notice to the Attorney General for Pakistan in this matter. After issuing aforementioned directions, the IHC bench adjourned hearing in this connection for 10 days.

The position of the top head of DRAP is vacant since March 2019, when the earlier permanent head of the department was removed on having dubious PhD degree.  Later, Asim was given acting charge of the office. In his petition, the petitioner assailed the notification dated 07.03.2019 for the appointment of Asim as Acting CEO of DRAP. The counsel for the petitioner contended that the manner in which the Chief Executive Officer, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan was appointed is described under Section 5 of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Act, 2012.

He referred to subsection (6) of Section 5 of the Act of 2012 in support of his contention that the power and jurisdiction vests in the Federal Government and the eligibility criteria has also been prescribed. The petitioner stated that the appointment of respondent no.6 i.e. Asim Rauf, Chief Executive Officer of the DRAP is not sustainable, non est and void.

He said that despite of Establishment Division’s notification to the Ministry of NHS on rules and procedures for the appointment of top head, the ministry gave promotion to the sitting acting CEO DRAP in previous dates to continue with him. He continued that the said notification issued by Director Admin Dr. Obaidullah said, “In compliance to Federal Service Tribunal, Islamabad orders dated of M/o National Health Services Regulations and Coordination letter No.F.6-3/2015-DRAP/NHSR&C (Vol-III) dated 09.01.2018, the competent authority has been pleased to grant Ante-Date Promotion to Mr. Asim Rauf, Additional Director (RO-14), DRAP from the date when his juniors were promoted i.e. 07.09.2009 with all consequential benefits. Resultantly, the officer, inter-alia shall retain his inter-se-seniority as in the lower post.”