ISLAMABAD: Isla­mabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Friday constituted a larger bench to hear a petition challenging the sacking of Punjab Governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema, overruling objections raised by the registrar’s office.

The registrar’s office raised the objections that the matter pertained to the Lahore High Court and the petitioner had attached a photocopy of his de-notification.

Mr Babar Awan represented the former governor in the case.

In his petition, Mr Cheema pleaded that his appointment had been made in terms of Article 101 of the Constitution and once a governor of a province was appointed, his continuation in the office or otherwise was solely the prerogative of the president, who also determined the salary, allowances and other privileges the governor.

The petition said that “there is neither allegation of misconduct against the petitioner nor any conviction by any court of law or any act committed by the petitioner contrary to the Constitution, at all. Therefore, as the head of state, it is the duty of the President to represent the unity of Islamic republic in terms of Article 41 of the Constitution”.

Justice Minallah obse­rved that there was parliamentary democracy in the country and powers of the President of Pakistan had already been mentioned in the Constitution.

He observed that superior courts had already deliberated upon presidential powers and advised Mr Awan to come up at the next hearing after reading out judgments of the Supreme Court on the issue.

Meanwhile, the high court granted pre-arrest bail to PTI leader Haleem Adil Sheikh. Advocate Ali Bukhari filed the petition, seeking the pre-arrest bail of Mr Sheikh.

Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2022

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