ISLAMABAD, May 22: The Ministry of Law and Justice on Tuesday removed a close aide of former law minister Senator Babar Awan from the post of legal adviser in the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
Sources in the law ministry told Dawn that Mohammad Ramzan Chaudhry, a former judge of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), was removed because of his close association with Senator Awan who is still facing the wrath of the Presidency for not signing affidavits in the prime minister’s contempt case.
On March 30, 2012, the CDA also removed 30 lawyers from its panel, who had been engaged on the directions of Mr Awan when he was the law minister.
However, the civic agency did not sack Mr Chaudhry at that time because of the IHC bar elections as it would have damaged the unity of pro-government lawyers, according to the sources.
They said Mr Chaudhry was also under fire because of his passive response in a case in which IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had summoned Faisal Sakhi Butt, who headed the now suspended task force on CDA. His absence from the court during the hearing of Mr Butt’s case further aggravated the situation.
The notification said the law and justice division has appointed Barrister Masroor Shah as CDA legal adviser “by disengaging Ch.
Mohammad Ramzan advocate, legal adviser CDA.”
According to the notification, the removal of Mr Chaudhry was made with the approval of the secretary law and justice in consultation with the attorney general for Pakistan.
Mr Chaudhry, when contacted, said he had not yet seen any notification for his removal.
He, however, admitted that his close association with Senator Awan may be a reason for his removal. He said the recent case in which the court had summoned Mr Butt may also be a factor behind his sacking.
The court could summon Mr Butt and it was not the job of CDA counsel to defend him, he said and added: “I argued the case till the extent of the original petition and when the court took up the matter of Mr Butt, I brought my objection to the court’s record but did not defend the chairman task force.”
Barrister Masroor Shah, the CDA chief legal adviser, said the authority had removed Mr Chaudhry because of his unsatisfactory performance.
He said the removal of the legal adviser was purely a professional matter and it had nothing to do with politics.
He said during the tenure of Mr Chaudhry, the CDA faced court stay orders in more than 50 per cent of cases, causing millions of rupees loss to the civic agency.