ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday admitted an intra-court appeal of former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani challenging the dismissal of his petition against rejection of seven votes cast in his favour in the election of Senate chairman.
Mr Gilani filed the appeal in the Islamabad High Court against the judgement of a single-member IHC bench, through his counsel Farooq H. Naek and Javed Wains.
An IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri took up the appeal.
After preliminary hearing, the court issued notices to the respondent authorities and adjourned the hearing till April 27.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had on March 24 dismissed Mr Gilani’s petition, saying the petitioner with the support of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) may remove Sadiq Sanjrani through a no-confidence motion.
The petition said the PDM had the required numerical strength to elect the Senate chairman, but the rejection of his seven votes deprived Mr Gilani of the majority of votes.
It was further alleged in the petition that the presiding officer was biased and that the seven votes were rejected with mala fide intentions and illegally.
The seven voters had stamped their respective ballot papers on the printed name of Mr Gilani instead of the space given in front of it.
The intra-court appeal (ICA) requested the high court to set aside the order of the single-member bench.
It also requested the court to set aside the notification about election of Sadiq Sanjrani as Senate chairman.
The former prime minister cited Mr Sanjrani, the presiding officer for the election of Senate chairman, Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, and the Senate Secretariat as respondents.
The ICA stated that after the Senate election the PDM’s combined strength was 51 members, while the government and its allied parties’ combined strength stood at 47, and Mr Gilani was a joint candidate of the PDM.
The petitioner stated in the petition that President Dr Arif Alvi had on March 11 nominated Muzaffar Shah as presiding officer, who is a controversial figure for being a member of the Grand Democratic Alliance.
It was further pointed out in the appeal that Mr Sanjrani’s term as chairman of the Senate was to end on March 11, but at midnight on the same date he appointed additional sergeant-at-arms (BS-18) in the Senate Secretariat with effect from March 9.
Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2021