The appointment of Justice (retd) Dost Mohammad Khan as caretaker chief minister was challenged in the Peshawar High Court on Tuesday for “violating the Constitution”.
Citing Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution which outlines that an elected or chosen person, who has served Pakistan or any statuary body, shall be disqualified unless a period of two years has elapsed since the end of serving tenure, the petition points out that the interim chief executive retired on March 20, 2018 hence he does not fulfil the constitutional requirement.
The retired judge was selected by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from a list of four names provided by the previous Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government and opposition following the failure of a parliamentary committee to reach consensus. Earlier former K-P chief minister Pervez Khattak and former leader of the opposition in K-P Assembly Lutfur Rahman could not affirm on a candidate.
In his petition, senior lawyer of PHC Syed Azizuddin has claimed that the appointment is also against National Judicial Policy 2009 which provides that a Supreme Court judge shall not accept any post lower than his status or dignity. He said the post of a caretaker chief minister was lower that the one he retired from in March.
The petition stated that the judicial policy’s virtue of independence of judiciary restricted judges from accepting positions to act as governors of a province. “The judge who was supposed to work for the supremacy of the Constitution is violating it,” claimed the petitioner.
Azizuddin prayed to the court to declare Justice Dost’s appointment null and void. Seeking interim relief in the matter, he asked for the SC judge to be restrained from assuming charge as caretaker chief minister until a verdict is given in the petition.