Contempt application: SHC issues notice of provincial law officer

KARACHI: The Sind High Court SHC on Tuesday issued notice to the provincial law officer to ensure that its order regarding appointing the leader of opposition in Sind assembly within 10 days is complied with.

A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam, was seized with contempt of court application filed by 10 opposition members, nine of them belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League Functional PMLF, who requested for the contempt of court proceedings against the speaker and deputy speaker of provincial assembly.

In application, it was submitted that the court on February 8 disposed of the petition by directing the speaker provincial assembly to appoint the leader of opposition in the provincial assembly at the earliest and not later than 10 days from the day the order was passed.

Applicants Jam Madad Ali, Nusrat Bano Seher Abbasi, Shaharyar Khan Mahar, Muhammad Rafique Banbhan, Rahim Bux Bozdar, Rana Abdul Sattar, Qazi Shams Din Rajar, Ali Ghulam Nizamani, Syeda Marvi Rashdi and Mir Abid Hussain Jatoi through their counsel submitted that despite the court order, the speaker provincial assembly has failed to appoint the opposition leader in the provincial assembly and intentionally flouted the court order.

The court issued notice to the advocate general of Sind to ensure that the court orders are complied with.

Earlier, in the petition it was submitted that petitioners unanimously nominated MPA Nusrat Bano Seher Abbasi to be the opposition leader in the provincial assembly.

The counsel, Abdul Mujeeb Pirzada on behalf of petitioners submitted that petitioners moved an application to the speaker on Dec 19, 2012 informing him of Ms Abbasi’s nomination and their support to her as the leader of the opposition.

They contended that after receipt of the application the speaker was legally bound to allocate seats to the opposition members in the assembly so as to complete the house and to conduct and run the business and affairs of the assembly smoothly and in accordance with the mandate given under the Constitution.

The counsel argued that the deputy speaker ought to have allocated seats in the house to such members/group after the formation of the opposition group, but due to the lethargic behaviour of the respondents they were not allocated the seats.

The petitioners contended that it was therefore abundantly clear that no caretaker cabinet was to be appointed under the law in the absence of the leader of the opposition.