ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday accepted for regular hearing a petition against the invocation of Article 245 by the government and sought replies from top bureaucrats.
Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, the chief justice of the IHC, issued notices to the cabinet division secretary, interior secretary, defence secretary and law secretary, asking them to file their replies on August 6.
Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar appeared before the court to receive the notices.
The petition, filed by Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) president Naseer Ahmed Kiani, challenged the government’s decision to invoke Article 245 of the Constitution in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and requested the court to declare the notification illegal.
The petition argued that since there was no failure on the civil administration’s part to maintain law and order in the city the move was unjustified. “Such decisions are against democratic norms and should be declared illegal,” it says.
According to the petition, the decision needs to be taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif or at least be approved by the cabinet or presented in parliament. “[Failing this] the government decision stands without any lawful justification or lawful authority,” it says.
The petition says the legal fraternity, civil society and media have struggled for the restoration of the judiciary in 2007. “And thus the ‘mini martial law’ that is being imposed in the capital will not be acceptable,” it says.
However, the petitioner’s counsel Sheikh Ahsan Uddin failed to present the notification for the imposition of Article 245 before the court, which directed him to submit it on August 6.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.