KARACHI: The Sindh High Court issued notice to the provincial chief secretary, secretary law department and prosecutor general, Shahadat Awan, on Tuesday, for allegedly continuing to hold the office of the province’s top prosecutor in violation of the laws.
Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai, who headed the bench, issued notice on a petition filed by an assistant prosecutor general, Saleem Akhtar Buriro, who had challenged Awan’s authority to hold the prosecutor general’s office.
He told the judges that the tenure of the prosecutor general was fixed for three years and could not be extended.
Shahdat Awan was appointed as prosecutor general on May 10, 2008 under section 6 of the Sindh Criminal Prosecution Service (Constitution, Functions and Powers) Ordinance 2007 for tenure of three years. Awan’s tenure was to expire on May 10, 2011.
On May 7, 2011, he was given a three-year extension following an amendment made through the provincial assembly to section 6 of the Sindh Criminal Prosecution Service (Constitution, Functions and Powers) Act 2009.
Following Awan’s extension, however, the chief secretary once again amended the Act of 2009 through which tenure of prosecutor general was fixed at three years. The petitioner claimed that the Supreme Court, while hearing a contempt matter on June 12, had noted he was unlawfully occupying the office of prosecutor general.
The petitioner argued that even though Awan’s tenure was over, he was occupying the office illegally. He pleaded to the court to issue a writ of quo warrant and declare that Shahdat Awan was illegally holding the prosecutor general’s office.
After the preliminary hearing, the bench issued notice to the chief secretary, law secretary and Shahadat Awan to file their comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.