Dawn – Powers of FM can’t be assumed by adviser: Chief Justice

Staff Reporter

Lahore-Panjab, 10 March 2017. Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah on Thursday heard a petition against appointments of two advisers to the prime minister and observed that powers of a foreign minister could not be exercised by an adviser.

A citizen, Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi, challenged the appointments of Sartaj Aziz and Tariq Fatemi as advisers and special assistant to the prime minister, respectively, on foreign affairs.

The petitioner also questioned the appointment of Sardar Mehtab Abbasi as PM’s adviser on aviation.

The petitioner’s counsel argued that Mr Aziz and Mr Fatemi had been running the foreign ministry like ministers. The counsel pointed out that the prime minister could appoint five advisers, but an army number of advisers had been working in violation of the rules.

A deputy attorney general objected to the maintainability of the petition and asked the court to dismiss the same. He argued that the petitioner had relied upon nothing concrete but press clippings.

The chief justice observed that the courts could be petitioned on the basis of clear and reliable media reports.

The chief justice said powers/roles of ministers and advisers had been clearly defined in the laws and an adviser could not assume the powers of a minister.

Justice Shah adjourned further hearing till March 16 and sought more arguments from both sides, the petitioner and the government.

Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court on Thursday handed down a collective imprisonment of 24 years under different sections of laws to a man for killing his wife in an acid attack.

Convict Muhammad Dilshad was present in the court when the sentenced was announced.



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