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October 28, 2015

SHC issues notices over plea against enlarged cabinet

Karachi

 
October 28, 2015

Karachi
The Sindh High Court issued notices to the Sindh advocate general and others on Tuesday on an application for the restoration of a petition against the excessive number of ministers in the provincial cabinet and the appointment of 23 people as advisers, a special assistant, coordinators, and political and parliamentary secretaries to the chief minister.
The petitioner, Moulvi Iqbal Haider, submitted that despite the constitutional bar on the chief minister of not appointing more than five advisers, 23 people had been appointed advisers, a special assistant, coordinators and political and parliamentary secretaries which was in gross violation of Article 130(11) (read with Article 4,5,9, and 25) of the Constitution.
He submitted that as per the record issued by the services general administration and coordination department there were some 18 provincial ministers including the chief minister which is also in negation of Article 130 (6) of the Constitution that restricted the number of ministers in the cabinet to 15 or 11 percent of the total membership of the provincial assembly.
He said that the chief minister had appointed 14 advisers and special assistants equivalent to the status and privilege of a provincial minister instead of five advisers or special assistants, four coordinators, one political secretary and three parliamentary secretaries with the status of a minister.
This, he added, not only violated the Constitution but was also a heavy burden on the national exchequer.
Citing the cabinet division secretary, the chief secretary and the 23 advisers, special assistants and others as respondents, the court was prayed to declare these appointments in violation of Article 130 (11) of the Constitution and issue a writ of quo warranto against the respondents as to under what authority of the law were they holding these offices.
The court had earlier dismissed the petition over lack of prosecution. However, the petitioner’s

counsel filed an application for the restoration of the petition. The secretary services had submitted in his comments that the chief minister had not appointed more than five advisers and the appointment of advisers, assistants, and secretaries was not in contravention of any law or any provision of the Constitution.