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Saturday July 20, 2024

Supreme Court takes notice of delay in AGP’s appointment

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the Supreme Court’s senior-most judge, took notice of the delay in the appointment of a new Attorney-General for Pakistan and summoned record about the resignation of Ashtar Ausaf, the outgoing AGP, on January 17

By Our Correspondent
January 12, 2023
The Supreme Court premises in Islamabad. The SCP website
The Supreme Court premises in Islamabad. The SCP website

ISLAMABAD: Justice Qazi Faez Isa, the Supreme Court’s senior-most judge, on Wednesday took notice of the delay in the appointment of a new Attorney-General for Pakistan and summoned record about the resignation of Ashtar Ausaf, the outgoing AGP, on January 17.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, while heading a two-member bench of the apex court and hearing a case on property, took notice of the lack of cooperation from the AGP’s office. During the hearing, Justice Isa observed that the court was not getting assistance in cases from the AGP’s office. The judge asked Deputy Attorney-General Shafqat Abbasi who the new AGP was. The law officer, however, expressed ignorance in this regard.

Justice Isa then called Additional Attorney-General Aamir Rehman to the rostrum and asked the same question, but he also submitted that he had no idea. The judge then said that Attorney-General Ashtar Ausaf has reportedly resigned, and his resignation has been accepted.

Justice Isa questioned how the country was running without an attorney-general. Meanwhile, the court summoned records on January 17 about the outgoing AGP’s resignation and the appointment of his successor. Last October, Attorney-General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf submitted his resignation, citing health reasons. The prime minister, however, asked the former law officer to continue till the appointment of a new AGP. Until then, he continued his slot but was unable to attend the court proceedings. Additional Attorney-General Chaudhry Aamir Rehman assists the Supreme Court in cases.

During the proceeding of PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s petition challenging amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 (NAO), Additional Attorney-General Chaudhry Aamir Rehman initially assisted the apex court, but later on, the federal government hired the services of Makhdom Ali Khan to represent the government. The case is still pending with the court. Similarly, Additional Attorney-General Chaudhry Rehman also assisted well during the Presidential Reference, seeking the opinion of the apex court on Reko Diq’s new project.

Following the resignation of Ashtar Ausaf, President Dr. Arif Alvi had approved the appointment of Mansoor Usman Awan as the new Attorney-General of Pakistan in December 2022; however, his notification is still pending. Mansoor Awan, a young lawyer from Lahore, had earlier represented the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) in the Supreme Court during a Presidential Reference seeking the interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution, dealing with the defection of MPs.