Only president authorised to appoint tax ombudsman, govt tells IHC


ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Law and Justice Monday submitted a reply before the Islamabad High Court (IHC), saying that only the president of Pakistan was authorised to appoint federal tax ombudsman.

The ministry filed a six-page reply in the IHC after a petition was filed by Federal Tax Ombudsman Mushtaq Sukhera challenging his removal.

The law ministry stated that the appointment of Sukhera was not made according to the law, adding that there were no requirements of Supreme Judicial Council’s orders to remove him from the post.

It was also not necessary to issue a show cause notice to Sukhera before the issuance of his removal notification, the ministry further said.

Sukhera had been appointed as federal tax ombudsman on August 30, 2017, on the recommendation of the then prime minister.

It further said that the president was authorised to make this appointment under section 3(1) of 2000 Ordinance, adding that there was no recommendation of the prime minister required under Ordinance and Ombudsman Act 2013.

It may be mentioned here that an IHC bench had issued a stay order against the removal of Mushtaq Sukhera from the post of federal tax ombudsman and had ordered law ministry to submit reply in a petition challenging the notification.

The petitioner had claimed in his plea that he could only be removed from his post through the orders of Supreme Judicial Council, adding that the president was not authorised to issue such orders.