LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday restored officiating tehsil nazim Mianwali and 18 members of the tehsil council by suspending the order of secretary Local Government and Rural Development (LG&RD). Justice Khalid Alvi admitted the petition of Mian Muhammad Asharf, officiating Nazim Mianwali, for regular hearing and issued notice to the provincial secretary of the department concerned. The court ruled that prima facie under Punjab Local Government Ordinance (PLGO) 2001, the secretary had no authority to remove elected officials from their offices. The petitioner had pleaded that Tehsil Nazim Amjad Ali Khan had resigned from his office in April and being naib nazim, he assumed the vacant office under Section 63 of PLGO. He said he convened a special session of the Tehsil Council Mianwali in which he was elected as officiating nazim till by-election on the seat by obtaining 18 votes. He pointed out that by virtue of law, naib nazims of all union councils falling under the jurisdiction of the tehsil were members of the council. Later on, he said, the Punjab government restrained him from performing his duties on April 29 and he challenged that order in the LHC but his petition was dismissed. He moved an intra court appeal and a division bench allowed him to continue as officiating Nazim, Mian Muhammad Ashraf said. The petitioner further said the secretary LR&GD conducted an inquiry on the complaint of Syed Abbas Shah, a UC nazim, and held that all the members of tehsil council, who had voted in his favour, had committed misconduct. Resultantly, the secretary suspended him and 18 members of the tehsil council, he added. Interestingly, it was first hearing of the case and court had not issued notice to the Punjab government but a law officer Wali Muhammad Khan made an appearance on his own and defended governments decision.