Is govt unable to pick new AGP, asks Supreme Court

 
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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday took strong exception to the government’s inability to appoint new Attorney General for Pakistan and observed that the government is violating the Constitution by not filling the constitutional post.
Senior most Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa, while heading a three-member bench hearing a case related to tempered vehicle, again expressed his displeasure over the delay of government in the appointment of new attorney general.

The judge asked the deputy attorney general as to who is the attorney general at present and questioned as to whether the government is so incompetent that it could not appoint new attorney general.

When the law officer could not give satisfactory answer, Justice Isa observed that the deputy attorney general is acting in a manner as if the court has asked a difficult constitutional question.

Justice Isa asked the law officer as to whether the government is negotiating with anyone on the appointment of constitutional post (AG). “There are some 5,500 lawyers available with the top court but the government was unable so far to pick one lawyer for the post of attorney general”, Justice Isa remarked.

The judge observed that the government is violating the Constitution by not filling the constitutional post of attorney general, adding that the orders of the apex court were not complied with.

Justice Isa further observed that the deputy attorney general and additional attorney general are only required to take instructions from the attorney general, “Deputy and additional attorney generals while appearing before the court without the instructions of attorney general is illegal,” Justice Isa remarked.

It is pertinent to mention here that last week Justice Qazi Faez Isa took notice of delay over the appointment of attorney general and had summoned record about the resignation of Ashter Ausaf, the outgoing AG and appointment of new attorney general by January 17. The government however, did not comply with the court’s order.

The Judge had taken notice of the lack of cooperation from the office of attorney general and had observed that the court was not getting assistance in cases from AG office. Following the resignation of Ashtar Ausaf, President Dr Arif Alvi had approved the appointment of Mansoor Usman as the new AG in December 2022; however, his notification was not issued.

Recently, Mansoor Awan also refused to accept the slot of attorney general due to his professional engagements. Federal Minister for Law and Justice Senator Azam Nazir Tarar had told this scribe few days back that soon the new attorney general will be appointed, adding that he was going to have a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for discussing the appointment of new attorney general.