ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) office on Wednesday raised a number of objections and returned a petition moved by Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, challenging the appointment of Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi.

The caretaker CM has been named in the petition even though a chief executive cannot be made a respondent under Article 248 of the Constitution – a provision which gives complete immunity to the president, prime minister, chief ministers, and ministers etc, the court office said while refusing to entertain the plea.

Sheikh Rashid alleged that CM Naqvi was “politically and personally affiliated” with former president Asif Ali Zardari and the ruling PDM and has been “actively involved in regime change movement” against the PTI government and Imran Khan.

The caretaker chief minister was appointed solely on the basis of his political affiliation and personal relationship with the present regime, the petition had contended. It had added the appointment of an allegedly biased person for the office of the caretaker chief minister would seriously affect the upcoming general elections.

IHC suspends police’s notice to former minister concerning complaint related to allegations against Zardari

Thus Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by appointing Mohsin Naqvi has misused its authority and has made a mockery of the law and the Constitution, the petition had claimed.

While returning the petition, the registrar’s office raised the objection that the petitioner used scandalous language. The petitioner also failed to point out what questions of public importance in the present case were involved with reference to the enforcement of fundamental rights to invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 184(3).

Moreover, the petitioner has also not explained for what purpose the petition was moved before the apex court, besides the petitioner had also not approached any other appropriate forum available under the law for seeking the same relief and has also not provided any justification for not doing so.

On Tuesday, the registrar’s office of the apex court returned a similar petition, moved by PTI General Secretary Asad Umar, citing reasons that no proof or resolution has been provided to the effect that the petitioner was the general secretary of the party and that it was filed on behalf of the political party. It added scandalous language had been used in the petition.

IHC suspends notice

Meanwhile, in a related development, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended the notice issued by the Islamabad police to Sheikh Rashid in connection with the investigation into claims made by Mr Rashid and the PTI chief that PPP leader Asif Zardari was a part of ‘Plan C’ to assassinate Imran Khan.

The court also issued notices to the Islamabad police chief and asked him to nominate a senior officer who could apprise the high court about the facts related to the case. The former interior minister had claimed that he had “inside information of the murder conspiracy” and that the former president had allegedly hired “assassins to kill Imran Khan”.

In the petition, Sheikh Rashid challenged the notice issued to him by the local police and dubbed the notice as contradictory to different provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Further hearing has been adjourned until Feb 6.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2023

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