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Chaudhry Pervez Elahi. – File Photo

HYDERABAD: The induction of Chaudhry Pervez Elahi in federal cabinet as deputy prime minister has been questioned in Sindh High Court before its Hyderabad circuit bench on Tuesday.

The court has fixed the matter for preliminary hearing on July 24 while issuing pre-admission notices to the prime minister through his principal secretary, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, the deputy prime minister, secretary law, justice and parliamentary affairs and secretary cabinet division. The court has put Attorney General on notice also.

Liaquat Baloch, an advocate of high court and joint secretary of District Bar Association (DBA) Kashmore has filed constitutional petition through Noorul Amin Sipyo advocate. The division bench comprising Justice Shahid Anwar Bajwa and Justice Sadiq Hussain Bhatti would take up petition on July 24.

According to petition’s text, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf designated Pervez Elahi as deputy prime minister while exceeding his authority. It is in violation of Constitutional provisions particularly Article 90 and 91.

The petitioner claimed that said notification is silent over role of deputy prime minister. He added that the constitution does not give any powers to the prime minister and this act should not go unnoticed. He said that even a plain read of Articles 90 and 91 indicate that there is nothing which warrants the prime minister or the president to create or designate such post.

He maintained that in fact this post has been the demand of ruling party’s ally, Pakistan Muslim-Quaid (PML-Q) adding that former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani did not agree with this demand but soon after his disqualification the PML-Q again raised the demand.

The party linked its support to the PPP’s nominee for the post of prime minister with its demand for deputy prime minister’s slot.  He said that it also creates a serious doubt that mere issuance of a notification would suffice for creation of the post of deputy prime minister thus it requires intervention of this court.

He accused the ruling PPP of befooling people only to protect its interests. He said that if one looks at federal cabinet’s composition it would reveal that half of PML-Q’s strength of 51 parliamentarians has been inducted in the federal cabinet.

He pointed that the ally is blackmailing the PPP. He prayed the court to declare June 25 notification whereby Pervez Elahi is named as deputy prime minister as illegal and also restrain him from holding the very office.