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SC stays transfer of Gwadar Port property
12-09-2010, 01:20 PM
Post: #1
SC stays transfer of Gwadar Port property
ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a stay order against the transfer of Gwadar Port’s immovable property to private firms till further orders and ruled that the order would remain effective till the apex court decided several petitions challenging a contract awarded to Port Singapore Authority (PSA) for operation.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while hearing the case expressed annoyance over the Government for acquiring services of a private lawyer instead of the Attorney General of Pakistan and admitted for hearing a petition filed by the Balochistan Government to become respondent in the case.
Salahuddin Mengal, Advocate General Balochistan, pleaded that the Balochistan Government be allowed to become a party as respondent. The Chief Justice inquired from Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, counsel for petitioners - Zakir Khan, Yousuf Masti Khan, Naveed Khan and others, if they did not have objection then the Balochistan Government would be allowed to become a party. Pirzada did not object.
Mengal said besides the Cabinet’s approval, which was granted two years ago, the Chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) could not be appointed yet. In the contract, neither the Federal Government consider the reservations of Balochistan Government, nor took it into confidence, the Advocate General stated.
Expressing concerns over the appointment of Chaudhry Ramazan as the counsel for GPA, the Chief Justice commented that in the presence of Attorney General it was an inappropriate step on part of the Government to engage a private lawyer in this case.
The Government has engaged Chaudhry Ramazan in Gwadar Port Authority case. The court observed that the office of Attorney General for Pakistan is a constitutional office. The Chief Justice said Attorney General Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq is a competent law officer. According to the Rule of Business, in any case if the Attorney General has different opinion then the Ministry of Law and Justice would send the matter to the Prime Minister, who would refer it to the Cabinet for the decision, he said.
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