ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday questioned the scope of the president’s authority to promulgate ordinances.
During the hearing of a petition challenging the promulgation of eight ordinances by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that Article 89 of the Constitution empowered the president to promulgate an ordinance in times of war or national emergency.
When Additional Attorney General Tariq Khokhar quoted colonial laws to defend the federal government’s move, the IHC top judge directed him to cite the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan in arguments to satisfy the high court.
Noting that the high courts were constituted in the year 2010 through an act of the Parliament, Justice Minallah questioned whether the federal government could dissolve high courts through presidential ordinances.
The bench has sought a statement on the matter from amicus curie Babar Awan, Raza Rabbani and Abid Manto. The hearing has been adjourned till March 12.