ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday suspended its own verdict of abolishing the federal government’s notification of sending Chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) Saeed Ahmad Khan on forced leave for three months.

At the request of federal government, a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi suspended its own order dated March 17 where IHC bench had set aside the federal government’s decision to send Chairman OGRA Saeed Ahmed Khan on three months forced leave.

Previously, an IHC bench setting aside the federal government’s decision had restored Saeed Ahmed Khan on his position. However, the same IHC bench stayed its own previous order here on Thursday.

During the hearing, an additional attorney general (AAG) Afnan Karim Kundi contended before the court that the federal government is going to file an Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) against the March 17 order and till then, operation of the said order may be suspended.

The AAG maintained that in case the court does not suspend its order, Saeed Ahmed Khan will resume charge as chairman OGRA. Therefore, he requested the court that in order to maintain consistency, the implementation on the order may be stayed.

Earlier, the federal government through an inquiry report had held petroleum ministry officials, Pakistan State Oil and private oil companies responsible for the petroleum crisis in the country January this year. The inquiry report had blamed OGRA for failing to enforce 20-day stock position by oil companies even though it was responsible to develop storage capacity and stocks under license conditions for oil marketing companies.

 The Chairman OGRA was consequently sent on forced leave.

On February 11, the Cabinet Division had sent Saeed Ahmed Khan on forced leave due to his alleged role for the January 2015 oil crisis.

Then, the Cabinet Division requested the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) to conduct inquiry against Saeed Ahmed Khan and as an interim arrangement; the federal government had assigned chairman Ogra’s charge to one Amir Nasim who was member OGRA. But the chairman OGRA had informed IHC while hearing of his petition that Amir Nasim is also facing inquiry before the FPSC, the charge of this post was given to secretary cabinet division Babar Yaqoob.

Later, the Chairman OGRA challenged government’s order before the IHC and adopted that under OGRA Ordinance the chairman had a four-year job security unless found being physically or mentally incapable or committing misconduct therefore he could not be sent on forced leave.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to set aside federal government’s order for sending him on forced leave.