ISLAMABAD-The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will on Monday (today) resume hearing in a petition filed against the use of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) flag on the sehat (health) cards. 

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah will conduct hearing of the petition moved by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s Member of the National Assembly, Barrister Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha and Noorul Hassan Tanveer to stop the use of the PTI flag on the health cards.

Previously, the counsel for the petitioner drew the attention of the court towards an order dated 28.02.2018 passed by the august Supreme Court in Suo Motu Case titled ‘Action taken on the advertisements in various print and electronic media regarding projects/works done by the Government of Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.’

The court observed that a plain reading of the said order of the apex court unequivocally shows that public funds cannot be used in any manner for ‘self-projection and aggrandizement’ under the garb of informing the public about the projects completed or being undertaken by the respective governments.

 The counsels have further also mentioned the judgment of the High Court of Balochistan titled ‘Chamber of Commerce and Industry Quetta Balochistan through Deputy Secretary vs Director-General Quetta Development Authority and others’ wherein, inter alia, reference has been made to the General Financial Rules of the Federal Government, Vol. I & II, and standards of propriety prescribed therein. 

The Federal Government and the respective governments of the provinces, therefore, prima facie, appear to be violating the order of the Supreme Court, dated 28.02.2018, passed in suo moto case of 2018 by printing or displaying pictures of public office holders, flags or colours of political parties or other content having the effect of ‘self-projection and aggrandizement,’ whether directly or indirectly.

The IHC bench noted, “The Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan is, therefore, directed to nominate an authorised representative to appear in person before this Court on the next date fixed along with written comments and explain why the Federal Government and organisations controlled by the latter may not be directed to forthwith discontinue the practice, which is in violation of the unambiguous law enunciated by the august Supreme Court vide order, dated 28.02.2018.”

It added, “The official/representative will also be expected to explain why initiation of proceedings against the persons responsible for violating the law laid down by the august Supreme Court and disregard for the prescribed standards of financial propriety, may not be ordered.”

After issuing the aforementioned directions, the bench directed to re-list the petition on August 10 (today) for further proceedings. 

The PML-N has challenged the advertisement of PTI’s flag on Sehat Insaf cards which have been distributed to people to provide them with health insurance.