In court: Saeed Ghani restrained from exercising minister’s powers

Development comes days after SHC nullified Murtaza Wahab’s appointment


Our Correspondent December 06, 2016
Saeed Ghani, the adviser to CM Sindh on labour. PHOTO: ONLINE

KARACHI: After nullifying Barrister Murtaza Wahab’s appointment as adviser on law, the Sindh High Court (SHC) also restrained on Tuesday the adviser on labour and human resources, Senator Saeed Ghani, from exercising the executive authority that a minister is entitled to.

Headed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, a two-member SHC bench also ordered that Ghani could not chair the meetings at Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (Sessi) since it was the prerogative of a minister.

The bench gave this restraining order on a petition filed by Abdul Sattar Niazi, who approached the court questioning the powers enjoyed by Ghani on the post of adviser. It also sought comments from Ghani, his department, the chief minister’s principal secretary and coordinator by December 9.

The petitioner, through his lawyers, submitted that the chief secretary, Rizwan Memon, had made a statement in the court that none of the advisers in the provincial government were given ministerial portfolios nor were they conferred any such executive authority. On the contrary, Ghani was acting as the Sessi chairperson and had convened a meeting of the institution on December 15, he contended, adding that the Sindh Employees Social Security Act, 2016, requires the chairperson of the institution to be the minister of labour.

The lawyer said that the practice of assigning advisers the ministerial portfolios was still being done in violation of the Constitution and the SHC judgement passed against this in November.

In that order, the court had also nullified two legal amendments made to the government’s Rules of Business and the law regarding the appointment and delegation of executive powers to the advisers.

Earlier, on Tuesday, chief secretary Memon told the judges that none of the advisers were equivalent to a minister in the province and the government had fully complied with the court’s November 23 verdict.

Hours after the chief secretary gave this undertaking at the SHC, the CM’s special assistant on religious affairs, zakat and ushr held a meeting on Tuesday with religious leaders. According to officials, the registration of seminaries in the province was discussed in the meeting.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2016.

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