Replies sought in plea against ATIR judicial members



ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered the Ministry of Law and Justice to serve notices on 10 judicial members (BS-21) working on a contract basis in the Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue, Pakistan (ATIR) on a constitutional petition wherein their appointment has been called into question by an advocate.

Sources said that the petition filed by a high court advocate requested the IHC to declare the appointment of 10 judicial members in the ATIR illegal, mala fide, unlawful, ultra vires, unconstitutional and null and void, having no legal effect in the eyes of law.

When contacted one of the counsels of the petitioner, Advocate Waheed Shahzad Butt, told The Express Tribune that the petition named the prime minister, Ministry of Law, the Federal Public Service Commission, 10 ATIR judicial members as well as the federal government as respondents.

The IHC issued notice to the respondents after hearing the arguments and fixed the hearing for November 8, 2022.

The petitioner requested the IHC to order cancellation of notification dated June 2, 2021 for the appointment of 10 judicial members Sajjad Asghar Khokhar, Aeysha Fazil, Sarfraz Khan, Zahir Sikandar, Nasir Mahmud, Rashida Siddique, M Ajaz Khan, Anwer Kamal, Aminullah Siddique and Aamir Maqsood in the ATIR as he believed that all such appointments had been made in flagrant violations of the rules and regulations applicable in such employments and prima facie apparent cheating with the Supreme Court.

Counsel Butt added that the contractual appointments in BS-21 of judicial officers could not be made without advertisement and information to public at large, hence, violative of articles 5, 18, 25 and preamble of the Constitution and thus illegal and void ab-initio.

The IHC order stated, “At the very outset, learned counsel for respondent No 5 (Sardar M Ajaz Khan) pointed out that officers mentioned in the memorandum of parties at Serial No 5 (I to X) were not issued notices as noted in the earlier order. The office is directed to issue a notice to respondents through the Ministry of Law.”

The office shall also ensure the compliance of the order and file a report regarding the service.

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Originally published at tribune.com.pk

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