SC dismisses Haq’s petition in EOBI case





The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf’s son-in-law Raja Azimul Haq’s review petition against the court’s decision on setting aside illegal employments made in Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI), saying, “Protection cannot be provided to those who have come through back door. There should be rule of law in the country.”

A five-member SC bench headed by Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali took up the review petitions in EOBI case for hearing Monday.

During the case hearing, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked, “Former government had gone to the extreme end of nepotism; it picked people from cement factories and appointed them in police, so much so that some among them even reached the slot of SSP.”

Grilling the former government further, Justice Khosa said, “People had become available from Sukkur and Mandi Bahauddin only. They had thought that they would bag votes in return for jobs, however they failed. We cannot provide protection to those who have come through back door. Rule of law should be in place in the country. Where will the deserving go if all the posts are distributed by the government among its favourites?”

The SC judge further observed that the former minister had appointed his brother as EOBI chairman and had the court declared this appointment as illegal, the matter would have come to end.

“If the appointment is legal then those who have obtained this employment should not worry as no loss would be caused to them. Some people among them were over-aged. The matter of deputation was illegal. We feel for the persons who are affected but we cannot declare an unfair thing as fair.”

Justice Saqib Nisar remarked, “Was practicing non transparency and nepotism not against the norms of merit. We did not stop any one from filing application, but what was the fault of 23,000 applicants? We accept those who have been affected have not committed robbery but the procedure which was pursued was not less than robbery. A matter is based on malafide intent and is political too. If a candidate possesses the requisite qualification even then we cannot overlook the element of malafide intent.”

During the case proceedings, Afrasyab, Shoaib Shaheen and Abdul Hafiz Pirzada gave arguments on behalf of employees.

Abdul Hafiz Pirzada argued several people have been affected by the court‘s decision. Some people have become over-aged and several are sitting in their homes and court should demonstrate generosity, he pleaded.

“The time has come that court review powers conferred upon it under Article 184 (3).”

Upon this, Justice Ejaz Afzal made it clear that that the court knew its domain under Article 184 (3) and were very careful.

The court also heard Chaudhry Afrasyab, the counsel for Raja Azimul Haq, on the matter of his appointment first in EOBI and then in World Bank. He questioned the need for a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) enquiry against his client when he had resigned from the post.

Justice Anwar Zahir Jamali remarked that the political figures were involved in his appointment and his matter was referred to NAB so that court be informed about the political figures who were behind this appointment.

The court will resume the hearing of the case today.