The hearing of a petition challenging a notification appointing Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi as Deputy Prime Minister and induction of advisers beyond the permissible limit of five was adjourned indefinitely here on Friday by a division bench of the Sindh High Court.
When the petition came up for hearing before Chief Justice Musheer Alam and Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar, it was found that a copy of the impugned notification which was called in question by the petitioner was not available in the file.
Upon query by the bench, petitioner, Moulvi Iqbal Haider, submitted that he was unable to lay his hand on the said notification as it was being kept as a closely guarded document so as to save the establishment secretary and incumbent deputy prime minister from any legal consequences.
As the petitioner sought time to procure the document, the bench adjourned further proceedings indefinitely. “We have granted your request for an early hearing and as soon as you get copy of the notification and place it before us, petition will be fixed and heard,” observed the bench while deferring further hearing.
The petitioner maintains that the Constitution of Pakistan does not have any provision for the post of Deputy Prime Minister and such a concept is alien to the law of the land.
He submits that after former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani was disqualified by the Supreme Court on the contempt of court charge , the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in order to seek support of PML-Q agreed to make Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi deputy prime minister and also gave 15 cabinet slots to the party as a “political bribe.”
This has resulted in a huge cabinet of 65 federal ministers, state ministers, advisors, etc and in order to secure support for Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the federal government has violated the order of the Supreme Court which had fixed the number of advisors to five, maintained the petitioner.
He requested the court to declare the notification of appointment of a deputy prime minister as being unconstitutional, illegal and void and also to declare that advisers beyond the strength of five are illegal.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.
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