ISLAMABAD-While hearing Mayor Islamabad Sheikh Anser Aziz’s petition challenging the recommendation for his suspension by the Local Government Commission (LGC) as well as its formation, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday suspended the commission.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani conducted hearing of the petition moved by Anser through Adil Aziz Qazi Advocate and issued notices to Secretary Interior, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Capital Development Authority (CDA) Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan and the LGC.

After issuing these directions, the IHC bench deferred hearing in this matter till 21 February for further proceedings.

In his petition, the mayor adopted that the suggestion by the LGC regarding his suspension was illegal and asked the court to stop the LGC Chairperson Awan from working as he was biased towards him. He also prayed to the IHC to declare recommendations of the commission as null and void.

Earlier, the nine-member LGC established by the federal government under the interior ministry for improving the state of affairs of Islamabad’s local government headed by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CDA Affairs MNA Ali Nawaz Awan decided to proceed against Aziz for a number of charges.

At the meeting on February 13, acting Chief Metropolitan Officer (CMO) Humayun Akhtar, who is member engineering CDA, filed the reference with the commission against the mayor. Awan also recommended to the federal government to suspend the mayor for three months till the completion of the inquiry.

In his reference, the CMO alleged that two dozen staff members were in the personal use of the mayor. The mayor was also using official vehicles beyond his entitlement. The CMO said that the MCI was being used by the mayor for his personal glorification. The charge sheet said that the mayor in the absence of rules made transfers/postings and took disciplinary action.

The petition of Anser said that the allegations against mayor appeared to be politically motivated. Challenging the filing of the reference and subsequent recommendation for his suspension, the mayor said that the MCI was formed under the Local Government Act 2015, wherein, several political, financial and administrative functions were devolved to the MCI.

The petitioner said that the Supreme Court had discussed the matter regarding powers of the MCI in the Pak Gulf Construction Company case and the apex court had observed that the mayor had a large establishment where more than 11,000 people were employed but had totally surrendered his position. He has neither any fund available with him nor any sort of power on the basis of which he could carry out any development work in the capital.