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SHC seeks inquiry report against suspended NAB deputy director till June 11.

KARACHI -- The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the director general of the National Accountability Bureau to file an inquiry report against a suspended deputy director of the anti-graft watchdog till June 11.

When a petition moved by a citizen against the NAB deputy director over demand of alleged bribe came up for hearing before a two-judge SHC bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh, the DG NAB, Sindh, retired Brig Farooq Nasir Awan, informed the bench that deputy director Mohammad Nadeem Sajid had been suspended by the NAB chairman.

He further submitted that an inquiry had also been started against the suspended officer. While adjourning the matter till June 11, the bench asked the DG to file the inquiry report by the next hearing.

The petitioner, Imran Ali, informed the SHC that Nadeem Sajid had summoned him after midnight at the house of builder Farooq.

He maintained that the builder was a friend of the deputy director and alleged that they demanded a bribe of Rs1 million. The petitioner had also played an audio recording of his meeting in the courtroom.

Demonetised decimal coins

The State Bank of Pakistan on Monday informed the SHC that the decimal coins were demonetised in 2014 and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had nothing to do with it.

The SBP filed its comments before a two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar on a petition filed against the discontinuation of decimal coins.

The SBP submitted that the federal government in terms of Section 15-A of the Pakistan Coinage Act III demonetised the coins of paisa 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 through a notification of ministry of finance from Oct 1, 2014, adding that the lowest legal tender denomination of Pakistani currency was Re1 coin and highest denomination was Rs5,000 banknote.

It further contended that Pakistan was not the first country to have done away with its smallest unit of currency as in the past few decades Britain, Canada, France, Israel and Spain and others did the same, though paisa would technically remain legal tender as online and card payments would continue to be billed to the exact paisa.

In its para-wise comments, the SBP further argued that discontinuation of decimal coins did not have any change on the inflation/economy, in fact high rate of inflation reduced the purchasing power of lower denomination coins.

Responding to another contention of the petitioner, it contended that the adoption of articles of agreement of IMF had nothing to do with the discontinuation of decimal coins, the financial support of IMF was to bridge the country's current account deficit as the main purpose was to facilitate the expansion of balanced growth of international trade.

While explaining the term 'payable to bearer on demand' written on a banknote, it said that the banknote was legal tender and the bearer can exchange it with other legal tender banknotes and coins and it can also be used to purchase products or services of equivalent value.

It asked the court that since the coins were minted and demonetised under the authority of federal government, the name of the SBP may be removed from the list of respondents. The bench directed the petitioner to file rejoinder at the next hearing.

The petitioner had moved the SHC in 2017 against the discontinuation of decimal coins and impleaded the federation through the secretary of finance and the governor of SBP as respondents.

The petitioner had contended that petrol was Rs72.68 per litre, but staff of filling stations did not return 32 paisa to customers for want of coins and maintained that the decision to discontinue the decimal coins was made on the instructions of IMF.
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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Apr 24, 2019
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