K-P interim chief minister's appointment challenged in court

Petitioner argues National Judicial Policy prevents SC judge from accepting post lower than status or dignity


Hidayat Khan June 12, 2018
Dost Mohammad Khan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

PESHAWAR: The appointment of Justice (retd) Dost Mohammad Khan as caretaker Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief minister was challenged in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday for “violating the provisions of Constitution”.

The petition was filed by senior lawyer Syed Azizuddin Kakakhel who referred to the Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution, which states that an elected or chosen person, who has served any statutory body shall be disqualified unless a period of two years has elapsed since the end of serving tenure. It also points out that the interim chief executive retired on March 20 2018. Therefore, he does not fulfil the constitutional requirement.

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The retired judge was selected by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from a list of four names provided by the previous K-P government and opposition following the failure of a parliamentary committee to reach consensus.

Azizuddin has claimed that the appointment is also against National Judicial Policy 2009, which suggests that a Supreme Court judge shall not accept any post lower than his status or dignity. The petition stated that the judicial policy’s virtue of independence of judiciary restricted judges from accepting positions to act as governors of a province.

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“The judge who was supposed to work for the supremacy of the Constitution is violating it,” claimed the petitioner. Interim CM Dost Muhammad Khan, the chief election commissioner of Pakistan, K-P election commission, K-P government through Chief Secretary and the president of Pakistan through secretary are named as respondents in the case.

Azizuddin prayed to the court to declare Justice Dost’s appointment null and void. He is seeking an interim relief in this regard. He asked for the former SC judge to be restrained from performing duties as the caretaker chief minister until a verdict is given in the matter.

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