LHC adjourns petition challenging Khosa’s appointment

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LAHORE – The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday adjourned until January 28, hearing of a petition challenging eligibility of Latif Khosa for appointment as Punjab governor owing to massive corruption allegations against him. Justice Umar Atta Bandyal heard arguments of petitioner Nawaz Cheema who argued that Khosa is not eligible to be appointed as governor because he was removed from office of attorney general on directions of the Supreme Court (SC) due to corruption charges against him.
After hearing the petitioner’s arguments, Justice Bandial remarked that allegations against Khsoa have not yet been proved in any court. Cheema argued that the governor when serving as advisor to the PM on IT committed massive corruption and set new records of nepotism by appointing his close relatives to key posts in the IT ministry by unlawfully terminating five officials from posts of directors, only to pave way for his relatives. Deputy Attorney General Naseem Kashmiri and Punjab Additional Advocate General Zakaullah sought time to file their replies.
During the case’s previous hearing, the judge had admitted the petition for regular hearing and summoned Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) President Abdul Qadoos, deputy attorney general and the Punjab additional advocate general for assistance. Cheema submitted that Khosa was removed as attorney general on corruption charges and the case in this regard is pending before the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) and according to articles 62 and 63 of the constitution, Khosa is not eligible to be appointed as governor. The petitioner asked the court to declare his appointment as unconstitutional and illegal. Cheema submitted that Khosa’s name had been recommended for appointment as Punjab governor and an advice was forwarded to the president on January 10.
He contended that recommendation and advice for the said appointment was illegal, as the LHC had held Khosa as a man of professional misconduct in two cases and directed the subordinate judiciary throughout the province not to take notice of any order or document referred by the respondent unless a certified copy of the order was produced. The petitioner contended that according to the constitution, a person could not be appointed governor unless he is qualified to become member of the National Assembly (MNA).
Cheema said that Khosa is not qualified to be elected as MNA according to articles 62 and 63 of the constitution due to which he is not eligible for appointment as governor. The petitioner requested the court to declare Khosa’s appointment as null and void and restrain him from taking oath of his office.