PESHAWAR - Appointment of well-known banker Hussain Moosa Lawai as President Arif Habib Bank Limited (AHBL) has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The petitioner has termed his appointment as illegal and against the interest of masses. A social worker of Lahore, Tahir Amin, has challenged the appointment of Lawai under article 184 (3) of the Constitution through his counsels Farooq Amjad Meer and M S Khattak. He has pleaded that a person with dubious character, who is an NRO beneficiary and faced NAB cases for committing fraud to the tune of Rs 1.82 billion, cant be appointed as president or CEO of a public bank. In his petition, he has said that Mr. Lawai committed fraud as president MCB and remained fugitive for over a decade. Interpol arrested him from Canberra on March 4, 1998 on the formal request of Government of Pakistan. He was brought to Pakistan where he faced NAB cases but was given benefit under NRO. It is a fact that cases against him were criminal in nature and had nothing to do with political victimisation, so benefit under NRO cant be taken as acquittal. The applicant further said that his appointment can result in another massive banking scandal like that of Bank of Punjab, which will not only hurt millions of depositors but also shake the foundations of fragile economy. Mr. Lawai is buying banks with the help of an offshore company Suroor Investments registered in Mauritius without bringing any money into Pakistan. He asked wherefrom he raised that kind of money. The applicant has also raised questions about the role of Federal Finance Ministry, State Bank of Pakistan, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and Competition Commission of Pakistan. These regulatory and supervisory bodies are helping this group buy banks by moulding laws and overlooking legal formalities, he alleged. Giving NOC to such a person is professional dishonesty, as the prudential regulations of SBP clearly mention that a party cant own two commercial banks. Any person involved in criminal activity or dismissed from any department cant be appointed as president or CEO of a bank. His integrity, honesty and reputation should be satisfactory. He said the authorities have failed in discharging legal duty. Judicial interference to rectify the wrong becomes warranted when law and rules are totally disregarded. It is imperative when the financial interest of millions of Pakistanis is at stake. It is worth mentioning here that Mr. Lawai is considered as front man of an influential political figure. The Finance Minister has dominated the regulatory bodies to such an extent that their respective independent evaluation stands totally eradicated which is evident by allowing appointment in top management persons having dubious past. The applicant asked the Supreme Court to take note of the situation and interfere to safeguard the interests of masses and prevent the economy from being ruined.