ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court Thursday admitted for regular hearing a petition filed against the appointment of Chairman Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani as acting president in the absence of President Mamnoon Hussain.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of the petition and issued notices to the federation, Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali and other respondents directing them to submit their reply till May 21 in this matter. 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 fulfill the basic requirement. “Sanjrani is therefore not qualified to hold the office of the president even in the acting capacity,” contended Shinwari.

He further said that on May 15, President Mamnoon Hussain departed to perform Umrah and in his absence, Sanjrani takes the seat as acting president until Hussain’s return.

He maintained that the Senate secretariat committed “a grave error and an illegality,” in their appointment of Sanjrani as Senate chairman keeping in mind the Articles of the Constitution. The petitioner said that the office of the president has been “illegally usurped”. Therefore, he prayed to the court that May 14 notification issued by the Senate secretariat be termed an “unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful as well as null and void.”