IHC issues notices to Senate Chairman, Secretary & Parliamentary Affairs Minister

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Controversial Senate Chairman’s election


Zubair Qureshi

A divisional bench of the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Senate chairman, Secretary and the Federal Government and others in an intra-court appeal filed by former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani against the Senate Chairman’s election held last month.

The PPP leader, who is also the current Opposition leader in Senate, had sought annulment of the single bench judgment in the intra-court appeal.

Earlier, Chief Justice of the IHC Athar Minallah had on March 24 dismissed his plea on the grounds “the court should not be dragged into political matters.

” However, Gilani challenged the matter in the Intra-Court Appeal comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Tariq Mahmood Jahangiri.

The intra-court appeal was filed by Gilani through his lawyer Farooq H Naik, Javed Iqbal Venus, and Barrister Umar Sheikh.

Gilani requested in the court to quash the presiding officer’s decision to reject seven votes, demanding immediate suspension of the decision regarding the Senate election.
Gilani’s lawyer Naik said the single bench rejected his client’s application.

The Senate chairman elections are not under the Election Act, but under the Constitution of Pakistan, Naik said. “How will you avoid Article 69,” Justice Farooq questioned Naik.

“I want to argue over Article 10 before Article 69,” Naik said. He said his client didn’t challenge the assembly’s proceedings but the election of the Senate chairman.

“When the rejection of seven votes was questioned, the presiding officer said, take the matter to the court,” Naik said, adding that he was Gilani’s polling agent in the Senate chairman election and on presiding officer’s advice he had taken the matter to the court.

After hearing the arguments, the court adjourned the hearing of the case until April 27.

Earlier, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had rejected Gilani’s plea, challenging Sadiq Sanjrani’s victory as the Senate chairman.

On March 12, the PTI government’s candidate for the Senate chairman election, Sanjrani, had defeated Gilani of the Opposition coalition of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), marking a significant victory for the ruling party.

Sanjrani had received 48 votes, while Gilani bagged 42. Eight of the 98 votes in total were rejected, including one that had a stamp on both names.

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