ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday suspended the notification of appointment of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Abrarul Haq as chairman of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition moved by Dr Saeed Elahi, former chairman of PRCS, and suspended the notification till next hearing to be held on November 29. Justice Athar noted in his order, “The questions raised in this petition need consideration. The petition is, therefore, admitted to regular hearing. The office is directed to relist the petition on 29-11-2019.”

He added that before the next date fixed the respondents are expected to submit their written comments and they are further directed to provide copies of written comments in advance to the learned counsel for the

petitioner.

Justice Athar said in the order that the petitioner’s counsel has drawn the attention of this court to rule 11(b) in support of his contention that the tenure of the Chairman of Managing Body of the Society is fixed for a period of three years unless the latter resigns earlier. “The learned counsel has stated that there is no power vested in the President to remove the Chairman before the guaranteed fixed term,” he added. Elahi adopted in the petition that he was appointed as chairman for a period of three years till March 9, 2020, while appointment of a new chairman before the said date was illegal.

He contended that Haq’s appointment as the PRCS chairman could also create a conflict of interest as he already heads a charity, the Sahara Foundation.

Elahi maintained that he was not served any notice before his removal and was not given any reason for his sacking. Therefore, he prayed to the court to set aside the notification relating to the appointment of new chairman issued on November 15 with the approval of President Dr Arif Alvi.