Dar, others issued notices on plea challenging deputy PM’s appointment


ISLAMABAD:

Notices were dispatched by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar and various other officials on Tuesday, requiring them to furnish responses by June 12 concerning legal challenges brought against Dar’s appointment as deputy premier.

Chief Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC presided over the hearings of the cases, which were initiated by individuals Fahad Shabbir and PTI’s Sher Afzal Marwat.

The list of recipients for the notices also includes the secretary to the prime minister and the cabinet secretary. Additionally, the Attorney General of Pakistan, Mansoor Usman Awan, received a notice for the purpose of providing legal counsel to the court.

In the courtroom, Nadeem Sarwar, the attorney representing Shabbir, was questioned by the Chief Justice regarding the possibility that the Lahore High Court had previously resolved the issue. “I believe I caught a glimpse of this in the news,” the Chief Justice remarked. In response, the legal counsel insisted that, regardless of the Lahore court’s ruling, the matter fell within the purview of the IHC. 

Justice Farooq addressed Sarwar, asking, “The case has been decided. Have you reviewed it? Can you comprehend English?”

The court then inquired about the basis for Marwat’s legal challenge through his lawyer, Riaz Rahi. Rahi indicated that the notification outlined four primary reasons.

Rahi contended there was no provision for an executive order and maintained that holding dual roles was not permissible.

“The position of prime minister is determined through election, while the deputy prime minister’s role was assigned by an executive order,” added Rahi, representing Marwat.

Related Article: Prime Minister Chooses Dar Over Aurangzeb Again

Rahi, referring to a previous case involving former dictator Pervez Musharraf, mentioned, “A definite directive concerning dual charges was made by this court. The simultaneous holding of two charges by the chief commissioner has also undergone legal scrutiny.”

After these statements, the court proceeded to send out notices to the parties in question, setting a deadline of June 12 for their replies.

Controversy Over Deputy PM Role

Last month saw the promotion of Dar, who concurrently holds the office of foreign minister, to the role of deputy prime minister by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, with no publicized rationale for the decision.

According to the government’s official statement, Dar is slated to continue his duties as foreign minister in addition to serving as Deputy to PM Shehbaz.

The appointment quickly faced objections from citizen Fahad Shabbir, who alleged it contravened Article 4 of the Constitution and urged the court to revoke the notification and restrain Dar from operating as deputy prime minister until the case’s resolution.

Subsequently, PTI MNA Sher Afzal Khan Marwat contested Dar’s additional office, calling for the court to invalidate Dar’s appointment on the grounds of it being unauthorized.

Previously, on May 17, the Lahore High Court had dismissed a petition challenging Dar’s appointment, citing it as inadmissible. Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court has issued notices to government officials concerning a similar petition, requiring them to respond by May 30.

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