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PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of provincial advocate general Abdul Lateef Yousafzai by the government last year.

Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Mohammad Ibrahim Khan pronounced order in this respect after hearing the arguments of petitioner Mian Azizuddin Kakakhel and additional advocate general Waqar Ahmad Khan.

The petitioner had challenged the notification issued by the law department on Aug 30, 2018, regarding the appointment of the advocate general on multiple grounds.

He said Mr Lateef Yousafzai had also served as advocate general during the last PTI-led provincial government but he was removed by the caretaker government on June 26, 2018, through a notification.

The petitioner said as Mr Yousafzai was earlier removed from service, his subsequent appointment to the post was illegal and unconstitutional.

He added that under the law, a person removed from service couldn’t be even enrolled as an advocate of the subordinate courts.

The petitioner said the qualification provided for appointment of an advocate general in the Constitution of Pakistan was equal to that of a judge of the high court. He pointed out that Mr Yousafzai was born on Aug 15, 1947, whereas under the constitution the retirement age of a high court’s judge was 62 years, which meant that he was not entitled to become an advocate general because of his age.

Additional advocate general Waqar Ahmad Khan said the petition was third of its kind against the appointment of the advocate general with the earlier two being dismissed by the high court.

He said the government wasn’t bound by the Constitution to consult the chief justice about that appointment.

“The constitutional bar of 62 years of age applicable to the appointment of high court judges is not related to the advocate general’s. Also, there are several judgments of the superior courts about it,” he said.

Mr Waqar said some elements continued trying to make the appointment of the advocate general controversial on flimsy grounds.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2019