Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday dismissed a petition of Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP), Muhammad Akhtar Buland Rana, who was seeking from the court to declare that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of National Assembly has no authority to look into the matter of his remuneration.

A single bench of IHC Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi announced the decision and turned down the petition by declaring it as non-maintainable.

Previously, the IHC bench had reserved the decision after hearing the arguments of both the sides in the matter wherein the petitioner had challenged the stoppage of his salary by AGPR on recommendations of the PAC.

Akhtar Buland Rana moved the court through his counsel Saeed Khursheed Advocate and adopted before the court that there is a constitutional bar under Article 81(a)(v) & 82 and therefore PAC’s special report about petitioner’s excessive salary may be declared coram non judice and mala fide.

The petitioner further stated that the controller general of accounts (CGA) and the accountant general Pakistan revenue (AGPR) may be restrained from making recovery of paid salary amount merely upon the unauthorized recommendation of PAC until the finding for receipt of extra remuneration is given by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) that is a competent forum against the petitioner.

In his petition, Rana nominated secretary establishment division, secretary finance division, controller general of accounts (CGA), the accountant general Pakistan revenue (AGPR), chairman public accounts committee, and secretary national assembly as respondents.

According to the details, the AGP informed the IHC that this is his second petition on the issue. An earlier writ and ICA were disposed by the IHC with the observation that the petitioner may submit his grievance against stoppage of his salary before the SJC instead of filing writ petition.

He added that eventually the petitioner filed application before the SJC for the release of his salary that was forthwith disposed-off on March 25, 2015.

Akhtar argued before the court that the he is AGP and as per terms and conditions of his service, these are governed by “Auditor General’s Functions, Powers Terms and Conditions of Service Ordinance, 2001.

He contended that the disciplinary proceedings against the misconduct of petitioner office can only be initiated by the SJC under Article 209 of the Constitution in the like manner as judge of Supreme Court. The post of AGP is a tenure post for four years and the petitioner is not in the administrative control of the executive.

The petitioner continued that PAC is not the competent forum to conduct any inquiry regarding remuneration of the petitioner keeping in view the bar contained in Article 81 (a) (v) & 82.

Therefore, he prayed to the IHC bench to declare PAC’s recommendations in his case as unlawful.

A standing counsel Raja Khalid Mehmood represented the federation and contended before the court that as per decision of Supreme Court of Pakistan, the AGP is also a civil servant and therefore, a high court could not hear this matter rather federal public service commission is a competent forum this connection.

Therefore, he requested the court to dismiss the petition. Acceding to the arguments of the counsel for federation, the court rejected Buland Rana’s petition.