Govt challenges IHC order on Baloch students’ grievances

Published May 19, 2022
Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah. – Photo: IHC website
Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah. – Photo: IHC website

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has challenged an April 28 order by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) calling for the formation of a commission to address complaints of harassment by Baloch students.

Moved by the interior ministry before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the appeal sought a directive from the apex court to suspend the single-bench order given by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah on a petition by rights activist Imaan Zainab Hazir Mazari over the alleged harassment of Baloch students.

According to the petitioner, students from Balochistan were facing harassment in the Quaid-i-Azam University and other educational institutions across the country.

The students alleged law enforcement agencies subject them to “racial profiling” and enforced disappearances.

The federal government argued in its appeal that the high court order was not sustainable since it was based on “misreading and non-reading of the record” as well as “misapplication of the law”.

The appeal contended that since the IHC directive was a final order to the extent of appointment of a commission, it “exceeded its territorial jurisdiction” by appointing a body to look into grievances of students regarding “lack of security, racial profiling and enforced disappearances” while visiting their home towns in Balochistan.

The high court order was arbitrary in nature and based upon hypothesis, the government argued, claiming that it was not sustainable under the law.

“The IHC has no jurisdiction to entertain and pass such orders. It is thus liable to be set aside.”

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2022

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