ISLAMABAD, Sept 18: A division bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday dismissed an intra-court appeal (ICA) filed against the appointments made in the IHC in 2011.
IHC division bench comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Mohammad Azim Khan Afridi after the preliminary hearing of the petitioner’s counsel sustained the registrar’s objection on the appeal and declared that the petitioner was not an aggrieved party in the case and, therefore, she could not challenge the appointments.
Earlier, on October 26, the IHC single bench comprising Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan dismissed the petition observing: “the appointments were made on deputation or in relaxation of rules, and that the IHC chief justice was competent to relax the rules and his administrative decisions are protected under the constitution.”
Appellant Anila Zeeshan Advocate, through her counsel Raja Saimul Haq Satti, cited the ministries of law, finance, managing director Printing Corporation of Pakistan, Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR), the IHC registrar and the appointing authority as respondents.
Advocate Satti contended in the appeal that the single judge without adhering to the fact and summoning the complete record of the employments had passed the judgment.
He pointed out that the act of the respondents was against the provisions of Article 25 of the constitution as well as section 24-A of the General Clauses Act 1877 which was inserted through an amendment to eradicate discrimination, nepotism and favoritism in the society.
“In fact, some of the recent direct appointments on deputation in the IHC defied the criteria which the court itself had laid down, he said and added, Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi while disposing of a petition against the appointment of 16 patwaris in Islamabad on deputation had observed that the vacant posts could only be filled through deputation if they are advertised in the national media and there is not a single application received from the residents of the capital territory.
The appellant referred to the Supreme Court judgment titled “Chief secretary Punjab and others versus Abdul Rauf Dasti” of 2006 in which the court had observed: “The chief minister is blessed with the authority to relax rules only in cases of hardship and for special reasons justifying the same”.
The appeal also asked whether any such high-level administrative posts can be made directly without advertising them and conducting test, interview; whether the discretionary powers of the competent authority are unbridled or does Rule-26 of the Lahore High Court impose any embargo on or limit such powers.