The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that minors can file a petition through their attorneys, as it allowed a seven-year-old girl to challenge the federal and Sindh government’s plan to produce electricity using Thar’s coal reserves.
A full bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, passed this order while allowing an appeal filed by a minor child Rabab Ali against the objection of the apex court’s registrar that she could not file a public interest petition through her attorney.
The bench, which also comprised justices Mushir Alam and Faisal Arab, was hearing the case at the SC’s Karachi Registry.
Rabab, through her father, pro-bono environmental attorney Qazi Ali Athar, and on behalf of the people of Pakistan, had filed a climate change lawsuit against the federation and the Sindh government.
The petition asserts that through the exploitation and continued promotion of fossil fuels, in particular dirty coal, the federal and Sindh governments have violated the Public Trust Doctrine and the youngest generation’s fundamental constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, human dignity, information, and equal protection of the law.
“The protection of these inalienable and fundamental rights is essential if we are to have any chance of leaving our children and future generations with a stable climate system and environment capable of sustaining human life,” argued Athar.