Saudi-Pak approaches IHC claiming immunity from audit

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Pakistan Embassy facilitating expatriates workers in SA

ISLAMABAD, May 24 (APP): The Saudi-Pak Industrial and
Agricultural Investment Company moved against the decision of the court which allowed the Auditor General for Pakistan (AGP) to conduct audit of the company while simultaneously dismissing its claim of complete immunity from audit.

The Company in its Intra Court Appeal (ICA) challenged the
single judge bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq which maintained that the company 500 shares are held by government of Pakistan, then how it could claim complete exemption from audit by the AGP.

In the ICA, Azid Nafees counsel for the Saudi-Pak company
stated that the company is not amenable to audit by the Auditor General of Pakistan in terms of article 170 (2) of the Constitution, adding that it is an unlisted public limited company and laws applicable to the public sector shall not apply to it.

Nafees said, the impugned order has disregarded the judgments placed before the court wherein it was observed that the government of Pakistan does not have controlling shares in the appellant and therefore writ cannot be exercised against the appellants in terms of Article 199 (5) of the Constitution.

The counsel said that neither does the federal government have exclusive, complete and final authority to take vital policy decisions, nor does it exercise administrative and financial control over the appellant.

He said that the appellant is a public (unlisted) limited
company which was established under a joint venture agreement entered into by Pakistan and KSA in 1980.

Under the agreement, 50 percent of the shares of Saudi-Pak
Company are held by KSA and the other 50 percent are held by the State Bank of Pakistan in the name of the government of Pakistan.

He added petitioner is a joint venture company with management control of KSA and appellant’s accounts are regularly audited by internal and external auditors and regular inspection is also conducted by the State Bank of Pakistan as a regulator.

The director general commercial audit & evaluation, Karachi,
however, refused to allow immunity from the state audit and
intimated to the appellant it intention of sending out an audit team to the appellant’s premises in the second week of January 2016.

He has prayed the court to reverse the order of the single
judge bench dated April 13, 2016, as it is not sustainable in law, adding that the letters issued by the director general commercial audit & evaluation, Karachi and Lahore, be declared illegal.

Secretary cabinet division, Auditor General of Pakistan and
the director general commercial audit & evaluation, Karachi have been listed as respondents.