IHC takes up Omar Sarfraz Cheema’s petition against his removal today

Prays to court that removal notification be declared unconstitutional, illegal, void
ab-initio and of no legal effect

 

ISLAMABAD   –   The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday (today) will take up a petition moved by Omar Sarfraz Cheema against his removal as Governor Punjab.

A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah will conduct hearing of the petition filed by Cheema through his counsel Babar Awan Advocate.

Earlier, the IHC registrar office raised objections over his petition saying that the matter belongs to Punjab and does not fall under the jurisdiction of the IHC. Now, the IHC Chief Justice will hear the petition along with the objections raised by the office.

In his petition, Cheema cited Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Cabinet Division, Secretary to the President of Pakistan and the Speaker Provincial Assembly Punjab as respondents.

He stated that the petitioner was appointed as the Governor of the province of Punjab by worthy President of Pakistan and the appointment was made in terms of Article 101 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973.

He reproduced provisions of Article 101, “(1) There, shall be a Governor for each Province who shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. (2)A person shall not be appointed a Governor unless he is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly and is not less than thirty five years of age [and is a registered voter and resident of the Province concerned]”. The article further reads, “(3) The Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President [and shall be entitled to such salary, allowances and privileges as the President may determine.] (4) The Governor may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office. (5) The President may make such provision as he thinks fit for the discharge of the functions of a Governor [in any contingency not provided for in this part.]”

The petitioner adopted the stance that he was so appointed vide notification /bearing number No 3-1/2022-Min-Il dated 5th April 2022 duly issued by Cabinet Division, Government of Pakistan. He added that the notification clearly refers to Article 101 of the Constitution. He further said that once, a Governor of a province is appointed his continuation in the office or removal from the office is solely left on the pleasure of the President including him to allow such salary, allowances and privileges as the President may determine.

The former governor contended that it is also noteworthy that according to this express provision of the Constitution the Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President of Republic and none else including the chief executive or a court. “This constitutional domain is to maintain the balance between different offices having the constitutional mandate,” maintained the petitioner.

He argued that the impugned act of respondent No-1 regarding his removal is against the express provisions of the Constitution and Fundamental Rights of the petitioner including Articles 2-A, 4, 8 in addition to other provisions related thereto.

Therefore, he prayed to the court that the impugned notification related to his removal may be declared to be completely without jurisdiction, unconstitutional, illegal, void ab-initio and of no legal effect, as against the petitioner.

He further prayed that appropriate action be also ordered against respondent No-1 for issuance of notification impugned by displaying the disloyalty to the Constitution.

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