K-P decision to book PDM leaders challenged

Writ petition filed in PHC terms move ‘attack’ on constitution

Our Correspondent August 25, 2022


A lawyer on Wednesday moved the Peshawar High Court (PHC) against the decision of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) cabinet to authorise an additional assistant commissioner of Dera Ismail Khan to register cases against leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for “fanning hatred”.

K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, all provincial ministers, chief secretary, law secretary, former federal minister Ali Amin Gandapur and others have been made parties in the writ petition.

The petition, filed by lawyer Shabbir Hussain Gigyani, pleads the court to declare the decision null and void, contending that deliberate “misinterpretation of the law” to achieve political interests seeds the grounds for anarchy and law and order situation in the country.

He described the PTI-led government’s decision as a potential “fatal blow” to the constitution and law, adding it was a "violation of the rights of the citizens".

According to the writ petition, Section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure – under which the additional assistant commissioner has been authorised to lodge FIRs – does not empower any officer to do so against any individual, but can only seek permission from the judiciary to file a case on charges.

“If an individual is found guilty during the investigation, the judiciary has the power to register an FIR under Section 196 of the Cr.P.C. Despite this, the K-P’s cabinet approved the illegal move and gave this authority to the additional assistant commissioner.”

The challenge to the provincial government’s decision comes a day after the K-P government, through a notification, empowered a government official in Dera Ismail Khan district to receive complaints from senior PTI leader Ali Amin Khan Gandapur or any other interested party for the registration of cases falling under certain sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which otherwise require the permission from the provincial government to do so.

“In exercise of powers conferred by Section 196 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and in pursuance of cabinet decision on August 18, 2022, K-P government is pleased to empower Mr Muneer Ahmed, Additional Assistant Commissioner, Dera Ismail Khan, to receive written complaints from Mr Ali Ameen Khan Gandapur or any other interested party and require local police to lodge FIRs under sections 108-A, 153-A and 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with any other enabling provisions of law, and to sanction and pursue such cases within his respective jurisdiction with effect from August 18, 2022,” the notification stated.

`Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, a lawyer approached Peshawar’s East Cantonment police station, seeking registration of FIRs against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Attaullah Tarar, Pervez Rashid, Ayaz Sadiq, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and others for inciting the public against the army, making statements against the judiciary, hurting the country’s ideological base and promoting rebellion through their statements.


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