ISLAMABAD   -   Due to non-availability of a larger bench, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday deferred hearing in a petition moved by Omar Sarfraz Cheema against his removal as Governor Punjab.

A larger bench of IHC, headed by Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani was to conduct hearing of the petition filed by Cheema through his counsel Babar Awan Advocate and deferred the hearing due to non-availability of the bench.

Now, the IHC larger bench would hear the matter on Wednesday (today) and petitioner’s counsel Babar Awan Advocate would appear before the court to present his arguments.

In his petition, Sarfraz Cheema cited federation of Pakistan through Secretary Cabinet Division, Secretary to the President of Pakistan and the Speaker Provincial Assembly Punjab as respondents.

He said that the petitioner was appointed as the Governor of the province of Punjab by President of Pakistan and the appointment was made in terms of article 101 of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973.

He said that once, a Governor of a province is appointed his continuation in the office or removal from the office is solely left on the pleasure of the President including him to allow such salary, allowances and privileges as the President may determine.

The former governor contended that it is also noteworthy that according to this express provision of the Constitution the Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President of Republic and none else including the chief executive or a court. “This constitutional domain is to maintain the balance between different offices having the constitutional mandate,” maintained the petitioner.

He argued that the impugned act of respondent No-1 regarding his removal is against the express provisions of the Constitution and Fundamental Rights of the petitioner including Articles 2-A, 4, 8 in addition to other provisions related thereto.

He adopted the stance, “There is neither allegation of misconduct against the petitioner nor any conviction by any court of law or any act omitted contrary to the Constitution. Therefore, as head of the state it is the duty of the president to represent the unity of Islamic republic in terms of Article 41 of the Constitution.”

He also questioned the manner in which he was removed by the executive, and requested the court to declare the notification of his removal illegal and unconstitutional.