Tuesday May 17 2022

Hanif Abbasi appointment case: Convicted person cannot hold public office, Justice Minallah says

Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah. — IHC website
Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah. — IHC website

  • Hanif Abbasi's counsel argues post of SAPM is not similar to other public offices.
  • IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah adjourns hearing till May 27.
  • Court hopes Hanif Abbasi will not use public office until next hearing.

Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah Tuesday said a person convicted in any case is ineligible to hold any public office in the country.

These remarks came during a hearing of a case relating to the appointment of Hanif Abbasi as a special assistant to the prime minister.

During the hearing, Hanif Abbasi's counsel Muhammad Ahsan Bhoon argued that the post of special assistant to the prime minister is not similar to the other public offices.

At this, the court said that the special assistant's job is to advise the prime minister, adding that a person can give his advice to the premier without notification as well.

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The court hoped that Hanif Abbasi will not use the public office until the next hearing.

The matter will be discussed further at the next hearing scheduled for May 27.

The case

On May 6, former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed challenged a notification over the appointment of PML-N’s Abbasi as a SAPM.

According to the petition, Abbasi has been convicted in an ephedrine quota case against which an appeal regarding his sentence is pending in the Lahore High Court. The petitioner said that a convicted person cannot be appointed as the SAPM.

Earlier, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had issued a notice to the Cabinet Division directing the premier to review the decision following which a summary was sent to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to review the appointment of PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi as his special assistant.