KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) asked on Wednesday the petitioner to argue on the maintainability of his petition seeking to restrain former petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from assuming charge of the interim prime minister, following disqualification of his predecessor Mian Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court last week.
A two-judge bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, also directed the petitioner to submit on August 10 supporting documents on the ineligibility of the respondent.
Advocate Muhammad Nadeem Sheikh said that the respondent, Abbasi, who is the former minister for petroleum and natural resources, was named as accused in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) case registered in 2015 regarding award of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import contract.
Other suspects include former petroleum secretary Abid Saeed, Inter State Gas Systems Managing Director Mobin Saulut, Engro’s Chief Executive Officer Emranul Haq and Sui Southern Gas Company’s former managing director Zuhair Ahmed Siddiqui.
He alleged that the national anti-graft watchdog had stopped the inquiry against Abbasi on the intervention of the former prime minister. He further argued that following his nomination in corruption inquiry, Abbasi was not a righteous and sagacious person – ‘sadiq’ and ‘ameen’ – as required under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, to be elected as a member of Parliament.
The court was pleaded to restrain Abbasi’s appointment due to his ineligibility as he was involved in the scam. It was also requested to direct the NAB and Federal Investigation Agency authorities re-open inquiries against him afresh in the LNG import contract scam.