IHC orders affixing SAPMs case A case challenging appointment of premier’s aides is already being heard by court Saqib Bashir July 21, 2020 A case regarding the appointment of 15 SAPMs is already pending. ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought the affixation of case regarding the inclusion of special assistants to the prime minister (SAPMs) and finance adviser in the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) with the pending case challenging the appointment of the premier’s aides. The court again issued notices to Adviser to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr Ishrat Hussain, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Adviser to the PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Cabinet Division secretary and finance secretary and sought replies from them. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had challenged the notification issued on April 25, 2019 regarding the constitution of the privatisation committee of the cabinet. Hearing the PML-N’s petition, Justice Aamir Farooq of the IHC remarked that a case against the appointment of the SAPMs was already being heard by a division bench. Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Raja Khalid Mehmood informed the court that according to the Rules of Business 17 (2), cabinet or the prime minister had the privilege to form a committee and the sub-committee. He maintained that in order to become a member of the committee it was not necessary to be a member of the cabinet and added that the cabinet had the prerogative to accept or reject a committee’s decisions. “Article 90 describes the cabinet in which advisers are not included. Article 57 says that the attorney general and advisers to the premier can participate in the assembly proceedings but cannot cast their vote,” the DAG said. Petitioner’s counsel Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha agreed that the case be fixed before the division bench. The court directed the registrar office to fix the case regarding the inclusion of the SAPMs and Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in the CCoP with the case already being heard challenging the appointments of the special assistants. A case regarding the appointment of 15 SAPMs is already pending. The IHC in the next hearing has also summoned a list of the special assistants and given them a last chance to submit their replies. The petitioner had challenged the appointments of SAPM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, SAPM on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, SAPM on Youth Affairs Usman Dar, SAPM on CDA Ali Nawaz Awan, SAPM on Parliamentary Coordination Nadeem Afzal Chan, SAPM on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza, SAPM on National Security Moeed Yusuf, SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Babar and SAPM on Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar. The petitioner requested the court to declare the appointments of the premier’s aides void ab initio by pronouncing them unconstitutional.