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January 23, 2020

Govt lawyer put on notice over plea against appointments of CM’s advisers


January 23, 2020

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday issued notices to a provincial law officer on a petition against the appointments of excessive advisers and special assistants of the chief minister as well as against awarding them portfolios of ministers in violation of the law.

Petitioner Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi submitted that as many as 21 advisers, special assistants and coordinators to the chief minister were given portfolios of ministers and charge of government departments though they were not elected members of the parliament.

He submitted that advisers to the CM could not be given portfolios of state ministers under the relevant law and the constitution. He stated that advisers Murtaza Wahab, Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, Nisar Ahmed Khoro, Syed Aijaz Ali Shah Sherazi, Waqar Mehdi, Rashid Rabbani, AShfaq Memon, Qasim Naveed, Nawab Hussain Wassan, Dr. Khatomal, Maula Bux Mohejo, Peer Noorulllah, Riaz Hussain Shah, Veer Ji Kohali, Naseema Ghulam Hussain, Bangle Mehar, Shahzad Memon and Hina Dastageer had been given different portfolios of ministers and special assistants and their appearance as cabinet ministers was without lawful authority as they did not take the oath as members of the parliament.

Naqvi stated that respondents were not elected representatives of the people as they could only give advice to the CM. He submitted that despite the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party having 99 MPAs, the party had given portfolios to its 18 MPAs, while 21 unelected advisers, special assistants and coordinators had been given government departments and portfolios in violation of the law.

The petitioner also questioned the appointment of Murtaza Wahab as adviser to the CM on law, climate change, coastal development and government spokesman, and submitted that the appointment of Wahab was a violation of an order of the SHC.

He alleged in the petition that Nisar Khuhro was disqualified on basis of giving false information in his nomination papers, but he had been given portfolio of works and service and universities board.

He said that another advisor to the CM, Aijaz Jakhrani, who had been given the portfolio of prisons and interprovincial coordination, had lost an election in Jacobabad and presently was facing two NAB investigations.

The court was requested to set aside the notifications with regard to appointments of the advisers and in meantime suspend the impugned notifications till a decision on the petition. He also placed a list of advisers, special assistants and coordinators who had been given different government department portfolios.

A division bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhr directed the provincial law officer to file comments on the petition.

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