ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the denotification of four officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) whose initial appointment could not be justified by their qualification.

NAB Lahore DG Syed Burhan, Balochistan DG Tariq Mehmood, Sindh Director Shahbir Ahmed and Awareness and Prevention DG Aliya Rashid did not have required educational qualification at the time of their induction in the NAB. The first three of them are retired army majors.

A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim, heard suo moto case regarding illegal appointment in the NAB.

Aliya started weeping when Justice Hani asked NAB Chairman Chaudhry Qamar Zaman to de-notify her. She was sitting with her daughter, who is also a lawyer.

NAB chairman informed the court that Aliya Rashid was a highly valuable officer. She was appointed on the recommendation of then prime minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali "in recognition of her services in the field of sports".

Justice Hani Muslim remarked who had stopped NAB from hiring her services; “but we can’t allow regular appointment in this manner (without qualification)”. He said rules could not be relaxed for an individual and asked the chairman that she could be hired as a consultant on sports.

The court said the removed officers would be entitled to pensionary benefits and perks and it would be open for them to apply for the posts again when advertised.

During the hearing, the NAB secretary told the court that of 137 employees whose appointments had been found to be irregular, 35 had accepted early retirement.

The court formed a committee to inquire into the educational qualifications of the remaining 102 officers. The committee comprises Establishment Division Secretary Tahir Shahbaz, NAB Human Rights Cell Director General Muhammad Shakeel Malik and a member of Federal Public Service Commission.

The court ordered the chairman to fill the vacant posts in three months by the date of findings of the committee.

In the intervening period the FPSC was directed to make arrangements for filling the posts. The court in its order said though appointments in NAB are made according to TCS rules but for the sake of transparency it is better they be made through competitive exam by FPSC.

Establishment Division secretary informed the court that on Tuesday he held meeting with NAB chairman and NAB counsel Khawaja Haris. He said there is consensus on the initial appointment of 10 officers. Out of them, four officers – Muhammad Fahad, Yasir Mehmood, Karim Bux and Harmoon Bhatti – were not eligible.

Their counsel informed that NAB has asked them to produce HEC equivalence certificates within four weeks, or their services may be terminated.

Establishment Division secretary informed that out of the 10, Amir Hussain left in 2003, Adnan Shahzad Asghar repatriated to his parent department, while Muqarum Abbas Baig, Naeem Shahzad and Romail Hawal were removed. Usman Majeed did not have BA degree but his LLB (Hons) has been accepted as the required qualification.

He also told that 95 officers appointed in NAB did not have requisite experience at the time of their initial appointment. Therefore it has been decided to set up a committee to hear their cases within two months, he added.

Another set of NAB employees under scrutiny was those appointed through promotion. Establishment secretary said that with the consent of NAB chairman they have found inconstancies in case of 137 such officers, but 35 of them have already retired. The court directed for issuing show cause notices to remaining 102 officers, and said their cases should be decided within two months after their appearance before the committee.