LAHORE: The provincial law department has asked Advocate General of Punjab (AGP) Ahmad Awais to abstain from representing the government in petitions having no administrative issues.

A law and parliamentary affairs department letter, addressed to the AGP, states that after the resignation of the chief minister [Usman Buzdar], the provincial cabinet has dissolved and at present no provincial government (chief minister and his cabinet) exists in the province.

It says under clause 2 of Article 140 of the Constitution, it shall be the duty of the advocate general to give advice to the provincial government upon such legal matters and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may be referred or assigned to him by the provincial government.

The letter states that since there is no provincial government, representation of advocate general in such writ petitions is neither warranted, nor viable.

“Further representation of advocate general in such writ petitions may hamper the administrative and bureaucratic governance of the province,” it adds.

The letter also refers to a petition of Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz involving the issue of reluctance of the governor to administer the oath to the newly-elected CM.

“In view of the above, the advocate general is requested to abstain from appearing for/on behalf of the provincial government in writ petitions having no administrative issues relating to the provincial government,” it concludes.

The letter has also been sent to the registrars of the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court.

In a statement to the media, AGP Awais said he would continue to discharge his responsibilities under the Constitution. He said he would quit once the new government was formed in the province.

Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2022

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