IHC issues notice to PPRA over ‘forged documents’

The Islam­abad High Court on Monday issued a notice to the Pak­istan Procurement Regula­tory Authority (PPRA) for allegedly securing a favourable order from the court on the basis of forged documents.

Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC issued the notice to the PPRA managing director on a petition filed by the authority’s ex-director general accusing the former of submitting forged documents that led to dismissal of his petition as well as three other pleas of senior officials against their termination from service.

PPRA, the country’s top transparency watchdog, was established in 2002 through a presidential ordinance, according to its official website.

The authority is endowed with the responsibility of prescribing regulations and procedures for public procurements by federal government-owned public sector organisations with a view to improving governance, management, transparency, accountability and quality of public procurement of goods, works and services.

In 2019, then PPRA managing director Fida Mohammad Wazir had terminated directors general Saima Tasneem and Irfan Rafique, director Dr Saqib Yousaf and deputy director Rahila Yousaf from service.

The high court had dismissed the petitions of sacked employees after PPRA submitted that the board of directors of the authority had in its 37th meeting delegated the power of termination to the managing director.

The counsel for the petitioners argued before the court that the matter was placed before the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) and it transpired that the delegation of the power to the PPRA managing director was not correct and based on a forged instrument.

According to the petition, the PIC concluded that the minutes of the board’s meeting held on April 1, 2019 were forged and on the basis of the forged documents the court ruled in favour of the PPRA.

It pointed out that the IHC “while passing order on Feb 18, 2020 observed in para eight of the order that the authority may delegate its functions or powers to the managing director which accordingly was done by the board of the authority in the minutes of 37th [meeting] of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority board held on April 1… but the whole para 11 (b) of 37th board meeting was forged as observed in the PIC report dated January 13, 2021”.

The petition stated that “under the changed circumstances, law allows the applicant to move application under Section 12 (2) of CPC as fraud and misrepresentation have been caused to the applicant”.

Justice Farooq admitted the petition and sought report from the respondents.

Further hearing on the matter has been adjourned till a date to be fixed by the court’s registrar office.

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