LHC disposes of petition against Taseer’s foreign visit | Pakistan Today

LHC disposes of petition against Taseer’s foreign visit

LAHORE – Mr Justice Azmat Saeed of Lahore High Court on Thursday disposed of a petition regarding the late Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer’s four-day foreign visit and declared it non-maintainable.
The judge observed that since Salman Taseer had passed away, it would not be now possible to establish whether or not he had some mala fide intention by keeping his foreign tour secret. After hearing strong arguments from the petitioner, the court did not dismiss the petition and disposed it of, declaring it non-maintainable after the death of the governor.
The petitioner, Noshab A Khan advocate, pleaded that he was not contesting a case against the deceased governor; instead, he wanted his act to be declared illegal as it concerned the legality of the actions of the Punjab government in his absence from December 5 to December 8 and the Punjab Assembly speaker who should have taken the charge as acting governor was running the business of the assembly. The counsel said the governor intentionally prevented the speaker of the provincial assembly from working as the acting governor for the period in violation of Article 104 of the Constitution.
He said the principal secretary to the governor was duty-bound to clarify his mysterious absence from his office for four days. He said under the constitution the governor cannot go on a foreign visit without giving charge to the assembly speaker.
The petitioner said the Punjab governor left Lahore for Karachi on December 5 by flight PK-303 and then flew to Colombo by Lankan Airlines VL-189 the same evening. Later, the governor returned to Karachi from Sri Lanka by VL-183 on December 8 and reached Lahore by PK-306 in the evening, he said. He alleged that Taseer did not want to give charge to the speaker deliberately so that the acting governor could not make appointments on key posts on the advice of the chief minister as held in a recent judgment by Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry. The judgment held an acting governor enjoyed full authority and could make appointments. With this observation, the bench had dismissed a petition, challenging the appointment of the Punjab Services Tribunal chairman and the Punjab ombudsman made by Rana Iqbal Ahmed Khan as the acting governor in Salman Taseer’s absence in 2008.
He said no notification of the foreign visit was issued which indicated that the governor did not inform the president about his ‘secret’ visit.
The petitioner said the absence of governor had questioned the legality of the actions of the Punjab government as the speaker kept running the assembly affairs when he was supposed to be the acting governor.

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