The IHC dismissed former interior minister Sheikh Rashid’s petition against the formation of the federal cabinet as “inadmissible”
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday dismissed former interior minister Sheikh Rashid’s petition against the formation of the federal cabinet as “inadmissible”.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah declared that the composition of present federal cabinet was not against the restrictions imposed by the Constitution. Challenging the appointment of 72 cabinet members in the IHC, Rashid had contended that it was a violation of Article 92(1) of the Constitution.
However, during Tuesday’s hearing, the IHC CJ said it was a “frivolous petition”, which should be dismissed with an “exemplary fine”. However, the court showed restraint as Rashid was an elected member of parliament.
CJ Minallah said the government held itself accountable to the parliament. “Why is the petitioner dragging the court in this matter? The trend of bringing political disputes before constitutional courts is certainly not in the public interest,” he said.
At the outset of the hearing, Justice Minallah reprimanded the petitioner for ‘disrespecting’ the parliament, saying that this mindset damaged the forum. On this, Rashid’s counsel said they had no other forum than the IHC to submit this plea.
“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, adding that elected representatives were in the parliament and the court would not interfere in their affairs. “Did the petitioner publish the list of special assistants and advisers when he was in the government?” he said and asked Rashid whether he ever visited the 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 respected parliament as well and did not interfere in the executive’s matters. “You can come to us if your basic rights are affected, but not like this.”
He said this was a baseless petition and the court could have imposed a fine but showed restraint this time. He advised Rashid to return to parliament and fight his case as that was the biggest forum. “The parliament makes the government accountable, why are you dragging court in this? We respect you and keep the court away from political issues,” he said. To this, the former interior minister tendered a request to withdraw the petition, but the IHC CJ responded that an order would be issued on it.