Prime Minister's task force: IHC suspends notification

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Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday suspended the notification issued for the establishment of 'Prime Minister's Task Force on Islamabad". Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has suspended the notification of Prime Minister's Task Force and adjourned the hearing till third week of June.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had established Prime Minister's Task Force headed by Faisal Sakhi Butt for overseeing affairs of Capital Development Authority (CDA). Syed Shahid Akthar, a citizen residing in Islamabad, filed a petition through Barrister Zafarullah Khan against the Prime Minister Task Force.

In the application, he argued that there is no provision in the CDA ordinance of 1960 for a task force to monitor the CDA affairs as the authority operates under a chairman and members of CDA board. The petitioner had made Federation of Pakistan through Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister, Capital Development Authority through its chairman, and Prime Minister's Task Force on Islamabad through its Chairman respondents.

According to the application, municipal administration and management of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) is the responsibility of Chairman CDA, which is a statutory body corporate established under the Capital Development Authority Ordinance, 1960. The said Ordinance does not empower any office, person or authority to appoint a task force for overseeing the work of CDA, application further says.

It also says that Chairman Prime Minister's Task Force is currently enjoying all powers and perks of CDA and all affairs of CDA are completely being run under his control. According to the CDA website, the high-ups of CDA take directions from Faisal Sakhi Butt with respect to various matters and CDA services.

"Chairman of Prime Minister Task Force has been appointed under the orders of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. It is respectfully submitted that the Prime Minister can appoint people to public offices like CDA chairman, but in no case the Prime Minister is authorized to appoint task forces for overseeing the work of a statutory body," it argues. According to it, the appointment of taskforce for overseeing an independent body like CDA is in violation of Articles 2A, 3, 4, 5, 18 and 25 of the Constitution and the Rules of Business 1973.

Courtesy: B R

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