ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday granted two weeks to the Finance Ministry to submit reply regarding constitution of the National Finance Commission (NFC).

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Engineer Khurram-Dastgir Khan has challenged the notification for constitution of NFC through Barrister Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha and Umer Gilani advocate.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the petition of the PML-N MNA and adjourned hearing until June 18th.

The PTI-led federal government on May 12 formed the 10th NFC to announce the new award.

The Ministry of Finance notified constitution of the 11-member commission after approval by the federal and provincial members, and its terms of reference by President Arif Alvi.

The president also authorised the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to chair NFC meetings in the absence of the federal finance minister.

In his petition, Dastgir requested the court to declare the said notification as illegal being ultra vires sub-articles (1) and (2) of Article 160 of the Constitution.

The petitioner further prayed to the court to declare that impugned notification dated 12th May, 2020 could not be given retrospective effect, and any proceeding of the Commission, which took place prior to May 12, 2020, were of no legal effect.

Khurram Dastagir requested the court to declare that any proceedings of the commission where even one of the duly-appointed members of the commission was absent should be void since Article 160 did not provide for any minimum operational quorum.

He termed the notification as unconstitutional and liable to be set aside.

He prayed to the court to declare that in the exercise of their functions under Article 160, the president was bound to act on and in accordance with the advice of the Federal Cabinet or the prime minister, where the governors of the provinces were bound to act on and in accordance with the advice of the provincial cabinets or the chief minister and in absence of such advice should render the appointments process defective.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020