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Appointment of SECP chairman challenged in NAB

ISLAMABAD: An application has been filed with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) challenging the appointment of Shaukat Hussain Abbasi as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

Advocate Nawaz Kharal filed the application claiming that the appointment of SECP chairman was illegal, without jurisdiction, based on nepotism and violation of rules set by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The decision to appoint Shaukat Hussain was a breach of the provisions of the SECP Act, through which he was selected owing to his political affiliation particularly with former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the applicant claimed.

Shaukat Abbasi, for his entire career, had only served in the registration department of SECP, having no prior experience of other core areas being regulated by the organization such as capital markets, specialized companies, insurance or enforcement, the application cited.

Addressing NAB chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, the application noted that soon after assuming the office of prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi promoted Shuakat Abbasi as the executive director.

According to the records from finance ministry, Shaukat Abbasi had not applied for the vacant position of SECP commissioner within the period specified in the newspaper advertisement published in September 2017 to invite applicants, the application reads.

The applicant alleged that the then prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi interfered in the process of recruitment and appointed Shaukat Abbasi as commissioner SECP who was later hired as chairman within a month.

The application also drew attention towards the Supreme Court directive of July 14, 2018, asking NAB to look into appointments in the public sector where the officers have monthly income of over Rs 1.5 million.

Shaukat Abbasi was receiving a monthly salary of more than Rs two million along with extra perks.

The application also pointed out that the essential principles fixed by the apex court for appointment of SECP chairman were not followed in the case of Shaukat Abbasi’s appointment.

 

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