ISLAMABAD - Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday sent a petition challenging invoking of article 245 in federal capital to IHC chief justice for formation of a larger bench to hear this matter.

During the hearing of the petition, Justice Siddiqui observed that a larger bench should be constituted since it is a sensitive and important matter. Therefore, he referred the petition to Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi. The court issued these directions while hearing a petition moved by President Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) Naseer Ahmad Kyani Advocate who had challenged the imposition of article 245 in the federal capital through his counsel Syed Nayab Hassan Gardezi Advocate. Justice Siddiqui also directed IHC institution branch to receive all the writ petitions except those where the imposition of article 245 has been challenged.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Ahsanuddin Advocate along with Syed Nayab Hassan Gardezi and Col (Retd) Inamur Rahim Advocate represented the petitioner. Additional Attorney General (AAG) Tariq Mehmood Khokhar represented federation of Pakistan, ministry of interior and law ministry. Justice Siddiqui asked the AAG what the government’s stance is over the court’s powers in hearing the matters related to public importance, family and rent matters. The AAG replied that last day Justice Athar Minallah held that the imposition of article 245 does not curtail powers of the courts and the government is also of the view that the courts can hear the matters, which are other than those of challenging the imposition of article 245.

The counsel for the petitioner, Sheikh Ahsanuddin Advocate, contended before the court that the notification through which the government has proclaimed article 245 does not mention why it was necessary to call in the army. At this juncture, Justice Siddiqui said that it is a very sensitive and important matter and a larger bench should hear this. Then, he deferred the hearing till August 11.  The IHC chief justice would be in the bench on August 11 and he would decide the matter regarding formation of a larger bench.