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Supreme Court Justice Munib Akhtar has reserved decision on the appeal filed against the registrar office’s objections to the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) chief minister’s petition that challenged the appointment of a judge as well as the extension given to three judges of the region’s chief court by the Pakistan government.

G-B Chief Minister Khalid Khursheed Khan had last month filed a constitutional petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution through senior lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan and made the federal government, governor G-B and newly-appointed Judge Chief Court Javed Ahmed respondents.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had given an extension to three judges of the G-B Chief Court on September 16 following a summary moved by Governor G-B Syed Mahdi Shah. However, the summary was initiated without consulting the chief minister.

Later, the registrar’s office returned the petition by raising seven objections.

SC office objects that the petition has not pointed out what questions of public importance are involved with reference to the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights as to directly invoke jurisdiction of the Apex Court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

The office deemed the petition to be based on individual grievance and that it did not meet the required criteria to qualify for the prayed remedy.

In the meanwhile, the chief minister of G-B challenged the objections by filing an appeal in the chamber, which was heard by Justice Munib Akhtar in his chamber.

‘Registrar can’t decide plea’s maintainability’

During the hearing, senior lawyer Makhdoom Ali Khan appeared on behalf of the petitioner and argued that the apex court’s registrar was not competent to decide the maintainability of the petition.

He cited a few judgments of the top court to justify his contentions.

Subsequently, after hearing the arguments, the SC judge reserved the decision.

It may be mentioned here that another judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, while hearing an appeal in the chamber, recently observed that the registrar’s office had no jurisdiction to decide the maintainability of a constitutional petition, emphasising that the powers to decide the justifiability of legal and factual questions raised in petitions were vested in the court.

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