PESHAWAR: A lawyer has moved the Peshawar High Court against a provision of the Cantonment Rent Restriction Act, which empowers the federal government to appoint rent controllers in cantonment areas of the country for exercising judicial powers.

In the petition, Ali Azim Afridi insisted that the performing of judicial functions by executive officers was unconstitutional.

He requested the court to strike down Section 6 of the Cantonments Rent Restriction Act, 1963, which allows the federal government to appoint rent controllers in the province.

The petitioner said the exercise of powers to render a decision or a definitive judgment insofar rental grievance by the executive functionaries tantamount to violating Article 175(3) of the Constitution, which guaranteed separation of the judiciary from the executive.

The respondents in the petition are the federation of Pakistan through the federal law secretary and KP law department through its secretary.

Lawyer asks PHC to strike down cantonment rent law’s provision in this respect

The petitioner said the Constitution allowed courts to declare laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the people’s fundamental rights to be void.

He contended that the Constitution laid emphasis on the separation of the judiciary from the executive and the independence of judiciary was one of the salient features of the Constitution.

The petitioner said his main grievance revolved around Section 6 of the Cantonments Rent Restriction Act, 1963, which allowed the federal government to appoint a rent controller to perform judicial functions, an act, which was against the Constitution.

He said allowing the executive to appoint controllers from the executive for exercising judicial powers was tantamount to throttling the command of the Constitution.

The petitioner contended it was the duty of the judiciary to examine the vires of the amendment at the touchstone of the Constitution.

BAIL GRANTED: The Peshawar High Court has granted bail to a suspected woman drug peddler for having a suckling baby with her in jail.

Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim of a single-member bench accepted the bail petition of Abida on the condition of furnishing two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each.

Amjid Noor Khan, lawyer for the petitioner, said the police had conducted a raid on a house in the jurisdiction of the Paharipura police station on May 11, 2020, and arrested three people, including his client, her husband and their female family member.

He said the police claimed to have recovered seven kilogrammes of heroin and one kilogrammes of ice drug from the house.

The lawyer contended that his client was falsely implicated in the case as there was no evidence to show that the drugs in question were recovered from her.

He said the petitioner had a one-year-old son with her inside the prison, so she deserved to be freed on bail.

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2020