PTIs Arrested Lawmaker Challenges KPEC Notification
PESHAWAR: Former PTI provincial minister Ziaullah Afridi has challenged the applicability of the government’s last month notification for the establishment of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission, insisting the functioning of the commission before the notification’s issuance was illegal and unconstitutional.
Ziaullah, who was arrested by the KPEC on July 9 on the charges of misuse of authority and corruption, filed a petition in the high court seeking the quashing of cases as well as inquiries and investigation against him saying when he was arrested, the notification needed by the law for the KPEC establishment was not issued by the government.
The petitioner, an MPA, who was expelled from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for criticising Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in the provincial assembly over his arrest, also requested the court to grant him interim bail until the final disposal of his petition.
The court will hold preliminary hearing into his case on Oct 8.
The high court has already denied bail to Ziaullah in two cases wherein he was charged with facilitating illegal extension of a Charssada chromites mine lease and facilitating illegal phosphate mining in Abbottabad.
The impugned notification was issued by the provincial establishment department in the name of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary on Sept 14.
The notification stated: “In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission act, 2014, (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Act No 1 of 2014) the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is pleased to establish the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission.”
It added: “This notification, in pursuance of Sub-Section (3) of Section 1 of the aforesaid Act, shall be deemed to have taken effect from the date of commencement of the Act ibid.”
The petitioner said the KPEC Act, 2014, was passed by the provincial assembly on Jan 7, 2014, while the governor assented to it on Jan 10, 2014.
He sad under Section 3 of the said law, it was binding on the provincial government to establish the commission as soon as the law came into force and that under Section 1 (3), the said Act would become effective at once.
The petitioner said the Ziaullah challenges notification of KPEC establishment notification required for the setting up of the commission was not issued by the provincial government whereas it started taking measures under the Act.
Initially, five ehtesab commissioners including the chief ehtesab commissioner were appointed in Aug last year through a lengthy process of selection by the search and scrutiny committee and the legislative committee of the provincial assembly.
The petitioner said appointments were made to key KPEC posts, including those of director general and prosecutor general, before the notification for the commission’s establishment was issued.
He said all steps taken and inquiries and investigation ordered prior to the issuance of the said notification were illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.
The petitioner added that the arrests made by the KPEC were illegal and therefore, he had remained in illegal custody of the commission.
The respondents in the petition are the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, the KPEC through its director general and others.
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