Punjab Advocate General Ahmad Awais challenges restraining orders in LHC

Published May 20, 2022
Advocate General for Punjab Ahmad Awais. — Photo via Twitter/File
Advocate General for Punjab Ahmad Awais. — Photo via Twitter/File

LAHORE: Advocate General of Punjab Ahmad Awais on Thursday moved the Lahore High Court against the provincial government for restraining him from working and appearing before courts.

Mr Awais through a counsel contended in the petition that under Article 140 of the Constitution the office of the advocate general was a constitutional post, independent of the government of a province or its bureaucracy.

The counsel said the appointing authority of the advocate general was governor of the province and the petitioner was to hold office during the pleasure of the governor. He said under the Punjab Government Rules of Business 2011, the office of the AGP did not fall under the administrative control of the chief secretary.

He said the chief secretary or the secretary for law & parliamentary affairs were not authorised to give directions to the petitioner regarding the performance or prohibition of his constitutional duties.

Mr Awais asked the court to strike down two letters issued by the law secretary wherein he had been restrained from working and appearing before courts on behalf of the government.

The law department had restrained AGP Awais from appearing before courts on behalf of the government and assigned the responsibility of the office to Additional Advocate General Jawwad Yaqoob.

In the impugned memo written to Mr Awais, the law department’s section officer (Admin-III) said that the principal law officer had been asked by the department through four letters not to appear in courts on behalf of the provincial government.

“Despite repeated directions you have continued to appear in courts on behalf of the provincial government,” said the letter.

Anis Hashmi and other provincial law officers recently terminated by the provincial government also filed a petition before the LHC.

Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti would hear these petitions on Friday (today).

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2022

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