The Supreme Court on Monday sought the notification under which the federal government imposed the governor’s rule in Balochistan, following the three-day long vigil of the Hazara community members at the site of Thursday’s twin bombings in Quetta.
Advocate General Balochistan Amanullah Kinrani informed the court that his office had not yet received the government’s notification which declared a state of emergency in the province. However he said it would be submitted to court the moment he receives it.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry headed the three-judge bench that took up a petition filed by the Balochistan High Court Bar Association, which was represented by President Malik Zahoor Shahwani and Vice President Sajjid Tareen against rising sectarianism, kidnapping for ransom and enforced disappearances.
But Advocate Shahid Hamid, counsel for the Balochistan government, the chief secretary and the provincial inspector-general of police did not attend the proceedings.
The apex court bench inquired Kinrani about the progress in the arrest of those responsible for the carnage in Quetta, to which Kinrani had no positive reply. CJ Chaudhry expressed dismay that the administration did not want to arrest the criminals.
“Scores of people have gone missing in the province but only a few have been recovered, despite many proceedings and orders of the apex court on the issue,” the chief justice observed. The chief justice clarified that the apex court’s October 12, 2012 order had only held the provincial government and not the provincial assembly responsible for failing to control the law and order situation in the volatile province.
The court then adjourned the proceedings for January 29 and summoned a compliance report from the federal as well as the provincial government in this regard.
SC hears former speaker Bhootani’s appeal
The Supreme Court also heard an appeal by former Balochistan Assembly Speaker Muhammad Aslam Bhootani against the Balochistan High Court’s decision of rejecting his challenge against the way he was removed from office.
On Monday, Advocate Muneer A Malik, who was representing the former speaker, argued that Bhootani was removed from his office on the same day that the provincial assembly session was called, when the rules suggest that at least seven days are required before tabling a resolution to remove the speaker.
The notice was issued on December 19 and the resolution was tabled and adopted the same day, the counsel argued. The bench adjourned further proceedings for January 22 and directed the counsel to submit the detailed judgment of the BHC before the court.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2013.
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