IHC judge warns that an “exemplary fine” will be imposed if such a matter is taken to court again
ISLAMABAD: Awami Muslim League chief and former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Tuesday earned the ire of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for filing a petition against the size of the federal cabinet.
In his petition, Sheikh Rasheed stated that the 72-member cabinet is a violation of the Constitution’s Article 92 (1).
PM Shahbaz’s 72-member cabinet includes 34 federal ministers, seven state ministers, four advisors, and 27 special assistants.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah took up the matter today and reprimanded the petitioner for “disrespecting” parliament, saying such a mindset has damaged the forum.
Expressing displeasure over the “political petition”, the judge warned that an “exemplary fine” will be imposed if such a frivolous matter is taken to court again.
At this, Sheikh Rasheed’s counsel said that they have no other forum for this other than the IHC.
“Too much disrespect of the Parliament has taken place and such a petition should not be filed again with the court.”
The IHC chief justice remarked that elected representatives are in parliament and the court will not interfere in its affairs.
“Did the petitioner publish the list of special assistants and advisers when he was in the government?” he asked.
IHC CJ Minallah asked Sheikh Rasheed whether he ever visited Adiala Jail when he was the interior minister. “You have no idea what’s happening there.”
“Sheikh sahab, we respect you and do not demean parliament,” the IHC CJ said, adding that the court respects parliament as well and does not interfere in the executive’s matters.
“You can come to us if your basic rights are affected, but not like this.”
The IHC CJ stated that this is a baseless petition and the court could have imposed a fine but showed restraint this time.
IHC CJ Minallah advised Sheikh Rasheed to return to parliament and fight his case as it is the biggest forum.
"Parliament makes the government accountable why are you dragging court in this? We respect you and keep court away from political issues,” remarked the judge.
To this, the former minister requested to withdraw the petition. However, the IHC CJ responded that an order will be issued over it.