KARACHI: The Sindh High Court repeated on Monday notices to the provincial authorities on a petition challenging the grant of minister’s status to the adviser to the chief minister on law.

A two-member SHC bench, headed by Justice Iqbal Kalhoro, reissued notices to the chief secretary, law secretary, registrar/ secretary judicial commission and others asking them to file their comments by Aug 9.

Advocate Fareed Ahmed Dayo submitted that Barrister Murtaza Wahab was appointed adviser to the CM on law on April 30, 2015 and a few weeks later he was given the status of minister. The lawyer argued that the move was a violation of Article 129 of the Constitution.

The petitioner argued that Mr Wahab was also appointed chairman of the board of governors for law colleges in Karachi in violation of two notifications issued by the provincial government, which stated that either education minister or vice chancellor of Karachi University can hold the position in question. He said the law adviser also lacked the necessary credentials to attain such position and his appointment was made on a political basis.

He added that the law adviser was also pro-vice chancellor of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Law and submitted that the appointment was also against the spirit of Section 11 of the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Law, Karachi Act, 2012.

The petitioner contended that Barrister Wahab attended meetings of the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, which, he argued, was against Article 175(A) (5) (iii) of the Constitution since he was the adviser, not a law minister.

While citing some rulings of higher judiciary, he asked the court to strike down the appointment of Barrister Wahab as adviser to the chief minister for law and subsequent status of minister.

The petitioner also pleaded to declare the re-constitution of the board of governors for law colleges in Karachi illegal and to issue direction for formulation of the criteria for appointment of the chairman and non-official members.

Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2016