ISLAMABAD  : The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday turned down a petition challenging the appointment of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani as acting president.

An IHC single bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq dismissed the plea, terming it non-maintainable. Sanjrani is eligible to perform his duties as acting president, the bench declared,

Previously, Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mahmood appeared before the court and opposed the petition, saying: “There is no mentioning of qualification in the constitution for appointment of an acting president.”

He said the petitioner filed this petition with mala fide intention and Balochistan High Court (BHC) had already given verdict in this connection. Advocate Afzal Khan Shinwari filed the petition through his counsel Iftikhar Bashir Advocate saying that Sanjrani cannot become the acting president of Pakistani because he does not meet the requirements set by the Constitution.

He adopted in his petition that according to Article 49 of the Constitution, the Senate chairman becomes acting president in the absence of the head of state, however, Article 41 states that the individual needs to be more than 45 years of age.

The petitioner stated that Sanjrani, born in 1978 is 40 years old, and does not fulfil the basic requirement. “Sanjrani is therefore not qualified to hold the office of the president even in the acting capacity,” contended Shinwari. He said that on May 15, President of Pakistan departed to perform Umrah and in his absence, Sanjrani took the seat as acting president until his return.