Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday turned down a petition challenging the appointment of first ever advocate general (AG) for the federal capital.
A single-member bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing of the petition moved by Muhammad Ashiq Bhatti through his counsel Yasir Mahmood Chaudhry Advocate and prayed to the court to declare the said appointment as null and void and against article 140 of the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
During the hearing, the court asked the petitioner to provide the copy of the notification issued for appointment of AG for IC. However, the petitioner could not submit the said document.
As a result, the court ruled that the petitioner failed in providing the relevant documents to the court hence the petition stood dismissed. The IHC bench also directed the petitioner to attach copy of the appointment notification and then file it once again.
The petitioner Muhammad Ashiq Bhatti moved the petition in which he challenged the appointment of AG and adopted before the court that the federal government before appointing Mian Abdul Rauf as AG should have brought an amendment into the article 140 of the constitution.
The federal government appointed advocate general for Islamabad capital territory (ICT) through a presidential order following a notification for the establishment of Islamabad Bar Council (IBC) in the last month.
The petitioner through his counsel Yasir Mehmood Chaudhry Advocate raised some questions and said that the appointment of an advocate general for ICT was flagrant violation of the constitution as under article 140 of the constitution an advocate general could only be appointed for a province.
He cited the federation of Pakistan through secretary ministry of law and justice, secretary cabinet division and advocate general Islamabad as respondents and contended before the court when Islamabad High Court was established for ICT, an amendment was brought into the article 175 of the constitution.
Ashiq Bhatti questioned why before the appointment of advocate general for ICT no amendment was brought into the article 140 that provided criteria for the impugned appointment.
He argued that as per article 140, an advocate general would be for a province and governor of the province would make his appointment. Advocate general would remain at his post till he is removed by the governor and he would provide legal assistance to the provincial government. The petitioner said that in article 140 there is no mention of ICT.
Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct the respondents to produce appointment notification before the court. The appointment of newly appointed advocate general may be declared null & void.
He further prayed that till the federal government did not bring an amendment to the constitution, advocate general might be restrained from functioning.