KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed against the reappointment of a judge in an accountability court saying it was not maintainable.
The two-judge bench comprising Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Yousuf Ali Sayeed observed that the grounds raised by the petitioners against the appointment were misconceived.
Some lawyers had petitioned the SHC last year after the ministry of law and justice notified the reappointment of district and sessions judge Sher Bano Karim as a judge of accountability court-III Karachi till the date of her superannuation, January 2020, or until further orders.
The petitioners contended that the ministry had reappointment the judge without meaningful consultation with the chief justice of the high court concerned and alleged that a divisional bench of the SHC had ordered the appointment and then commenced proceedings in contempt to ensure the same on the petitions which were only confined to a plea for the grant of bail.
They further asserted that the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 did not authorise reappointment of a particular judge.
After hearing both sides, the bench in its judgement observed that about the orders of another two-judge bench it would not dignify such an assertion by embarking on dissection of the orders, especially as it was well settled that the proceedings of another bench of this court were not amenable to scrutiny.
It further observed that the petitioners’ claim about another division bench specifically directing the appointment in question was completely misconceived.
Regarding consultation that the appointing authority was deprived of meaningful consultation in the appointment, the bench said that it had not only been categorically denied by the deputy attorney general, but was even otherwise misconceived as consultation required in terms of section 5(g) of the ordinance was that of the chief justice of the high court rather than that of the appointing authority itself.
The bench further noted that the argument of a bar on reappointment under the ordinance was based not on a reading of the relevant sections of the ordinance, but on the assertion that as sections 6, 7 and 8 of the ordinance specified that the prescribed periods for which the chairman, deputy chairman and prosecutor general of NAB, respectively, may be appointed there under is non-extendable.
However, such a restriction ought to apply mutatis mutandis in respect of the appointment of a judge of the accountability court, it added.
Plea against anti-encroachment drive
Another division bench on Monday issued notices to the provincial and local authorities concerned on a petition filed against the anti-encroachment drive on and around the drains in the provincial metropolis for April 23.
However, the bench headed by Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi did not entertain a request of the petitioners to restrain the authorities from demolishing their houses.
Some non-governmental organisations with around 45 individuals moved the SHC and contended that houses of the petitioners near Gujjar and Orangi nullahs were leased by the KMC and the Karachi Development Authority and now they were being demolished in alleged pursuance of Supreme Court orders.
Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2021