ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued notices to Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Scheme Chairperson Maryam Nawaz Sharif and the cabinet secretary after her appointment was challenged by a petitioner.
IHC judge Athar Minallah served the notices and sought replies in two weeks.
The court, meanwhile, also solicited help from four lawyers as amicus curiae to assist the court in disposing of the case. The amicus curiae include Senator Raza Rabbani, Hamid Khan, Rafique Rajwana and Barrister Farogh Naseem.
Petitioner Muhammad Ashiq Bhatti, while citing the cabinet secretary and Nawaz as respondents, has maintained that the appointment was made in violation of the law, merit and against a verdict given by the Supreme Court in the Khawaja Asif and Anita Turab cases, both of which placed restrictions on the appointments against certain offices.
The petitioner contended that the cabinet division issued the appointment notification on November 22, 2013, but it was not put made available on the cabinet division’s website.
“The appointment has been made just because she is the daughter of the prime minister and…is a sheer reflection of nepotism,” the petitioner said, adding that the appointment was in violation of Article 27 of the constitution, which safeguards against discrimination in services.
No raise for AGP
In a separate case, IHC judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui dismissed a petition moved by Auditor-General of Pakistan Muhammad Akhtar Buland Rana, seeking court intervention to get his salary and other perks increased to the level of apex court judges.
The petitioner had requested the court to revoke an amendment made in Section 3 of the AGP Ordinance, 2001, through which the salary and other perks of the AGP had been curtailed.
The petitioner’s counsel said that his client was getting Rs398,655 a month, while judges of the superior courts were getting double the amount, adding that the petitioner’s pay was verly low, relative to his workload.
The petitioner’s counsel said that his client wrote a letter to the finance secretary in September 2011 for requesting revision of pay and other allowances, but no heed has been paid to it. After the primary hearing, the court dismissed the petition.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2014.