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June 27, 2019

PHC restores 3 advisers, 2 special assistants to CM


June 27, 2019

PESHAWAR: The three advisers and two special assistants to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister stood restored on Wednesday after the Peshawar High Court (PHC) dismissed the writ petition that had requested the court to declare the appointments illegal and unconstitutional.

A bench comprising Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Mussarat Hilali had suspended the appointments on June 13.

Those restored included Ziaullah Bangash, adviser on elementary and secondary education, Hamayatullah Khan, adviser on energy and power, and Ajmal Wazir, an adviser with the task of supervising and coordinating merged districts affairs and spokesperson for the provincial government.

Two special assistants, Kamran Khan Bangash, on science and technology and information technology, and Abdul Karim Khan, on industries and commerce, were restored as well.

The petition was filed by Awami National Party Member Provincial Assembly Khushdil Khan. He had challenged the vires of the Act No VI 1989 known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Advisors and Special Assistants to the Chief Minister (Appointment|) Act, 1989.

The respondent advisors and special assistants were appointed under the same act.

Assisted by a senior lawyer Abdul Latif Afridi, the ANP lawmaker Khushdil Khan, who himself is a lawyer, had submitted before the bench that the advisors and special assistants could not be assigned executive functions under the Constitution, which the present advisors and special assistants were enjoying.

He had submitted that the KP government had adopted the KP Advisors and Special Assistants to the Chief Minister (Appointment) Act, 1989, which was in conflict with the Constitution and Rule 33A of the Rules of Business, 1985 and requested the court to strike down it.

Khushdil Khan had argued that under Article 129 of the Constitution, the executive authority of the province should be exercised in the name of the governor by the provincial government consisting of the chief minister and provincial ministers, who shall act through the chief minister. During the course of arguments on Wednesday, Justice Ikramullah Khan asked the petitioner as to why he had not raised these legal points while the law was being passed at the time when he was deputy speaker in the KP Assembly in 2011.

On the other hand, Abdul Latif Yousafzai, Advocate General, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, stated that the appointment of advisors and special assistants were made in accordance with the law and that they were performing duties assigned to them by the chief minister.

He contended that the advisors and special assistants were not performing the functions of provincial ministers and the petition was based on malafide with ulterior motives for securing political gains.

The advocate general stated that the powers under Article 130 were still executed by the chief minister in the case of all the portfolios in respect of which advisors have been appointed.

He said under the law the chief minister could appoint five advisors and assistants as required. The advocate general requested the court to dismiss the petition as the government had not committed any illegality while appointing the advisors and special assistants.

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