Islamabad - A division bench (DB) of Islamabad High Court (IHC) turned down a petition challenging the candidature of Makhdoom Javed Hashmi for contesting the by-polls to be held on October 16 from NA-149 Multan.

The DB comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Athar Minallah dismissed the petition by sustaining objections raised by the registrar office.

The IHC registrar office had raised objections over the petition that the petitioner has no locus standi or he is not directly an aggrieved person. Secondly the petitioner can avail an alternate remedy by filing application before the election commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The petitioner Muhammad Afzal had contended before the court that Hashmi may be stopped from contesting the polls after declaring ineligible. He argued that Hashmi in his press conference had made allegations against Pakistan Army and judiciary that brought a bad name to the two prestigious institutions. He had prayed to the court to declare Hashmi disqualified for the elections.

Javed Hashmi is going to contest the by-elections after he resigned from the same seat following a press conference and a speech in the joint session of the parliament.

Meanwhile, in another matter Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi directed secretaries of ministry of information technology & telecommunication (IT), ministry of finance and planning commission to submit reply in the matter where contractual employees of the IT ministry had contended that their salaries were not released despite court’s orders.

The IHC bench also directed executive director National IT Board and Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR) to submit the reply in 10 days. The court issued these directions while hearing a contempt of court petition moved by the contractual employees of IT ministry. Lastly it was on July 7, when the same IHC bench had directed the concerned officials to release salaries of employees.

The petitioner Aoun Muhammad and other maintained before the court that they were employed on contract basis by the IT ministry as network administrators for the Federal Government Data Centre (FGDC) project in 2004.

The project was aimed at providing ministry of information technology & telecommunication (IT),  infrastructure to all federal divisions, ministries and inter-connecting them through a secure data centre.

At the time, when they were appointed their basic pay scale (BPS) was not determined but later in March 2005, the federal government issued a notification stating that the petitioners may be considered equivalent to grade 18 employees.

In 2007, the ministry of information technology & telecommunication (IT), revised the PC-1 of the FGDC project, but the salaries of the petitioners were not enhanced. They contended before the IHC that the respondent authorities flouted court’s orders, as they did not release the salaries of the petitioners. The Petitioner had prayed to the court to start contempt of court proceedings against the respondents.

After issuing the aforementioned orders, the court adjourned the hearing with date in office.