Absent for four years: Arbab wins first battle

SHC suspends decision to unseat him and by-election notification.


Zeeshan Mujahid April 14, 2012

KARACHI:


The Sindh High Court suspended on Saturday a notification issued by the Provincial Election Commission, announcing by-elections on a seat that fell vacant after Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim was unseated by the Sindh Assembly.


A specially constituted division bench comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi also suspended the notification issued by the speaker of the House, declaring Arbab’s seat vacant.

The bench had earlier heard an urgent application after the election schedule was announced on Friday. According to the schedule, candidates were asked to file nomination papers on April 16 and 17 and polling was to be held on May 19.

Rasheed A Razvi advocate, appeared for the petitioner, Arbab Aurangzeb, who is the son of Arbab Ghulam Rahim. He submitted that his apprehensions had come true as only a day after a statement before the court election authorities that no notification regarding unseating and holding of by-elections was being issued, the authorities went ahead and announced the election schedule.

Rasheed Razvi was referring to the hearing of the case on Thursday when he had asked the court to issue a stay order against the bye-election. But the bench comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Nadeem Akhtar declined his request after a representative of the Election Commission assured the court that no notification was being issued. However, the judges said that if any such notification was issued then the same would be considered and appropriate orders would be passed.

Filing an urgent application on Saturday Rasheed Razvi appealed to the bench to suspend the notification in respect of by-election as well as the order of Speaker of Sindh Assembly unseating Arbab Rahim.

A petition was filed by Arbab Aurangzeb, son of former Sindh chief minister challenges a resolution passed by the Sindh Assembly unseating Arbab Rahim for remaining absent from its sessions for 40 consecutive days.

The petitioner maintains that as per rules, application from attending the session was to be dealt with separately for each day and voted in the assembly. The government kept the applications pending and then put them all before the house on a single day and, in violation of rules, rejected them by a majority vote unseating Arbab Rahim, submitted Rasheed Razvi.

Tracing the background of the mala fide government action, the petitioner informed the court that government had asked for support for its candidates in Senate elections and also demanded withdrawal of his party’s candidate. Besides Arbab Rahim’s application for the slot of Opposition leader also irked the ruling party which then decided to throw him out of the elected house depriving his voters from representation in the provincial assembly, the petitioner maintained.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th, 2012.

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