LAHORE - The Office of Advocate General Punjab has been functioning without the constitutional head over the last one month apparently not for any legal reason but due to the delay being caused by the newly appointed Governor Punjab, Salman Taseer, in approving the summary in this respect. Sources in the official quarters maintain that the Punjab Governor is taking time to sign the summary sent to him on June 3 last by the Chief Minister Punjab for appointment of senior advocate Khwaja Haris Ahmad as Advocate General, relying on a Lahore High Court Division Bench decision of April last wherein the appointment of the law officers in the Punjab Advocate General Office was made subject to the consultation/approval of the Chief Justice Lahore High Court. However, operation of this decision was suspended by the Supreme Court on June 3 last when a Division Bench of the Apex Court had admitted the appeal moved by the Punjab Governor against it to regular hearing. Sources concern say the Governor office is under a strong impression that the name of Khwaja Haris Ahmad, has been sent by the CM without consultation and approval of LHC Chief Justice while the fact of the matter is, the operation of the LHC order stands suspended by the SC, a fact being ignored while the AG Office is functioning without a regular Advocate General, who is a constitutional office holder. The sources pinpoint another factor involving delay in the appointment of the Advocate General Punjab. According to them, the Governor desires summary from the Chief Minister containing three names  so that he may approve anyone of them. And the matter is being dragged into a tussle-like situation, they add. The Constitution does not stipulate any time limit for the Governor to approve the summary but the normal practice is that the Governor is presumed to take a reasonable time for this purpose, says a senior lawyer. The need to get early approval of the summary, he says, is more emphatic when we have a large province like Punjab where the Advocate General Office has to deal with hundreds of law cases on daily basis at every level of the judiciary. Legal experts say, a summary sent to the Governor by the Chief Minister needs to be approved unless it carried anything unconstitutional or illegal and in that event he can send it back for re-consideration. However, he cannot object to the summary or hold it back for an undue length of time that has also been envisaged by the Rules of Business of Punjab. Normally, the Governor has to act on the advice of the Chief Minster without showing any hesitation about what he has been required to do through the summary, they add. The LHC verdict, the Governor Punjab is allegedly relying on, was passed on a petition moved by one Malik Ashraf to question the appointment of the Additional and Assistant Advocates General Punjab, made by the last provincial government. Relying on a notification of the year 1993, the petitioner has tried to make out the case that no law officer (Additional AG as well as Assistant AG) could be appointed without first consulting the Chief Justice and seeking his nod. The Court had sought from the Secretary concerned comments which informed to the Division Bench that the notification in question was withdrawn in 1994-95 when the relevant rules of appointment of the law officers were introduced. The Bench after hearing the then AG, however accepted the petition and ruled that no appointment of the law officer would be made without consulting the Chief Justice. The Provincial Government questioned this decision before the Supreme Court where the copy of the amended rule was also presented. The Bench of Justice Musa Khan Leghari and Justice Mian Hamid Farooq, after preliminary hearing the matter on June 3 last, suspended operation of the LHC order while granting leave to hear the appeal. Hence the SC, at this stage, dispensed with the need of consulting the CJ in the appointment of law officers although the matter is pending before it for final decision, say jurists. After change of government in the Punjab, Mr Aftab Iqbal Choudhary had resigned as Advocate General Punjab, which was accepted on May 19 last by the preceding Governor and he had appointed senior Additional General Punjab, Muhammad Hanif Khatana as stopgap arrangement. Since then the appointment of a regular AG is awaited.