Illegal appointment of NTDC chairman: LHC orders Cabinet Division to decide matter in 60 days

The Lahore High Court has directed Cabinet Division secretary to decide within 60 days a matter regarding the alleged illegal appointment of chairman of the National Transmission & Dispatch Company (NTDC).

Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh issued the order disposing of a petition challenging the appointment of Naveed Ismail as the NTDC chairman. After arguing at length, the petitioner’s counsel stated before the court that he would be satisfied if the petition was converted into a representation and sent to the secretary Cabinet Division, Islamabad, for consideration. A law officer of the federal government did not oppose the contention. “In view of foregoing, office is directed to send the copy of this petition along with its annexures to the secretary Cabinet Division, Islamabad, who shall treat it as a representation on behalf of the petitioner and decide the same in accordance with law, rules and policy within 60 days from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order,” Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh said in the written order. The petition stated that Ismail’s contract was terminated by the then chairman of Wapda in 2013 while he was serving as the CEO of Genco Holding Company Ltd (GHCL). However, it said, the respondent had been given three most key portfolios at that time including the managing directorship of the NTDC and Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco). The petition contended that prior to his appointment as the chairman of the NTDC Board, the respondent, Ismail, had been appointed as the CEO of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) at a whopping salary of Rs4.2 million. It also alleged that the respondent was also the founder and CEO of Lumen Energia — an independent power company which had the management control of KarGres-1, a combined heat and power plant for Arcelor Mittal Steel, and a 300 MW power business for the Bassel Group, which showed serious conflict of interest. The petition asked the court to set aside the appointment of the respondent as NTDC chairman.

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