Energy Global International FZE filed suit against Pakistan's central bank. (Representational)Islamabad:
An United Arab Emirates-based trading and investment firm has filed a lawsuit worth around Rs 74 billion against the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and a private bank, local media reported.
According to The Express Tribune, Energy Global International FZE filed the damages suit against the central bank on account of "unlawful" action of freezing the bank accounts and illegally converting the foreign currency account into a rupee account in December 2012.
A private commercial bank has also been made party to the suit, filed in the Sindh High Court (SHC), for not releasing the funds, according to the court application, reported The Express Tribune.
According to the publication, SHC has summoned representatives of the SBP and BankIslami to appear before the additional registrar of the court on February 15 next year to respond to the damages claim, showed the court documents.
In December 2012, the central bank froze the company's accounts - six months before the United States imposed sanctions on the company and despite the fact that Pakistani laws do not accept US sanctions.
"The action of the SBP was contrary to the Bilateral Investment Treaty and the circulars issued to give protection to foreign investors," said the court filing. The company was never intimated before freezing the bank accounts.
Energy Global has requested the court to declare the central bank's act to freeze its bank accounts and convert them into rupee accounts as illegal. It has also pleaded to unfreeze the bank accounts and release the withheld balance.
Energy Global also wrote to the SBP governor in December last year and again in January this year, urging him to intervene to allow the company to utilise its money and transfer the profit earned on the funds since May 2015 to its bank account, according to the newspaper.