LAHORE - LHC has sought progress report from the federal government in a petition challenging appointment of acting Punjab Governor. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of the LHC was hearing the case. During the course of hearing, Justice Shah observed: “The governor office is a constitutional post and it could not be kept vacant for long time.”

A law officer on behalf of the federal government told the judge that the governor office was of political nature and consultation was underway for the new appointment. He quoted Indian Constitution according to which a governor’s appointment can take six-month time.

 The petitioner’s counsel told the judge that the delay in such case was not allowed in the Constitution. The judge allowed the request by the federal government and adjourned further proceedings until Feb 27, with directions to submit progress report.

Munir Ahmad, who is petitioner, had challenged the appointment of Speaker Punjab Assembly as Governor Punjab, submitting that the appointment of the Governor be made purely on merit as laid down by the Constitution.

The petitioner through his petition stated that after the resignation of the Ex-Governor and appointment of caretaker Governor was not only in conflict with the provision of the Constitution but was against the basic nomenclature, scheme and structure of the Constitution, therefore, the appointment of caretaker/Governor was not only an act of illegal nature but violation of the mandatory provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan.

He submitted the appointment of Speaker of the Provincial Assembly as a Governor of the Province had a very limited scope and the Constitution specifically laid down them in the Article 104 of the Constitution which related to illness, visit abroad or unable to perform his function due to any other cause.

The petitioner stated the Governor of the Province would be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

The petitioner submitted that so called appointment of a caretaker/acting Governor in the Province was required to fulfill the basic conditions as laid down in the Constitution, if the working Governor was no more in his office.

He prayed the court to direct the acting Governor of the Province of Punjab to explain under what authority of law he held the office and by issuing the Writ of Quo Warranto by the Court the said Respondent might be directed to be removed from his office.

In another case, the Punjab government sought more time from the Lahore High Court to submit reply in a petition challenging notice for cancellation of registration of Idara Minhajul Quran allegedly involved in misusing funds collected for educational purposes.

The court allowed the request and granted more time to the Punjab government in the case.

Muhammad Mustafa, Minhajul Quran Secretary General, had challenged the notice issued by the Punjab government to cancel the registration of Idara Minhajul Quran.

Mustafa through his counsel stated that registrar joint stock Company had issued notice to Idara Minhajul Quran by accusing it to misuse the Idara funds for the purchase of bulletproof vehicle and container.

The petitioner said that a bulletproof vehicle worth Rs 14.3 million was purchased for Idara’s head Dr. Tahirul Qadri and Pakistan Awami Tehreek workers after he issued ‘declaration’ (fatwa) against terrorism. The petitioner requested the court to set aside the notice issued to the organization and the government department be directed not harass Idara workers.  

In previous hearing, the court had suspended the impugned notice with directions to the Punjab government to submit reply.