LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday declared the appointment of Haj Director in Jeddah Rafiq Bashir as void and ordered him to come back to Pakistan.

The court had also sought report from the federal government that under which law he was given extension despite the fact that his previous extension had been ended in Dec last year.

Justice Ayesha A Malik of the LHC passed the order while hearing a petition challenging the appointment of Rafih Bashir Shah as DG Haj in Jeddah.

As hearing commenced, a deputy attorney general Mehmood Zakaria appeared before the court and said that he was given extension by the federal government for six months when his contract ended in June 2014.

The law officer told the court that later, the Prime Minister wrote a letter to the Saudi government and gave him extension till the completion of the haj operation.

According to the letter which was issued in Feb this year, Rafiq Bashir Shah was given visa by the Saudi government until Oct 28, 2015, the law officer submitted.

At this, Justice Malik observed that if the visa date had ended then why he was staying in Saudi Arabia and serving as DG Hajj in Jeddah; the judge directed him to come back to the country. The court also sought notification as under which law he was given extension.

A citizen had filed the petition through his counsel Advocate Azhar Siddique and pointed out that Rafih Bashir was involved in corruption. A number of inquiries against him had also been proved but despite that he was holding the office and had been given extension, he said. In fact, the petitioner stated, Rafih Bashir Shah was nephew of Opposition leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah. His appointment was made purely on political grounds and in clear violation of law, he submitted.

The petitioner had prayed the court that his appointment be declared as null and void and the federal government be directed to appoint a person purely on merit. The next date is in office.