ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday (today) will take up former federal minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed’s petition challenging appointments of federal ministers and special advisors to the prime minister taking plea that their total number exceeds the prescribed strength of federal cabinet in the constitution.
A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah will conduct hearing of the petition moved by Sheikh Rashid through his counsel Intazar Hussain Panjutha Advocate. In his petition, Sheikh cited Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Cabinet Division, Federation of Pakistan through Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of Pakistan, Secretary Law and Parliamentary Affairs and 72 federal ministers, state ministers and special advisors to the PM as respondents.
He adopted the stance that according to second provision of Article 92 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan, the total strength of the cabinet, including ministers of state, shall not exceed 11 per cent of the total membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and total strength of Parliament of Pakistan i.e. National Assembly and Senate is 446 and 11 per cent of total strength of Parliament is 49.06 members meaning thereby maximum number of federal cabinet can be 50 members which includes federal ministers and ministers of state. He stated that the Prime Minister of Pakistan under Rule 4(6) of the Rules of Business, 1973 can appoint any individual as Special Assistant or Special Assistants to the Prime Minister with such status and functions as may be determined by the Prime Minister.