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Councillors sue mayor over non-payment of salaries.

ISLAMABAD -- The mayor of the federal capital and the chief metropolitan officer have been taken to court for failing to release the salaries of union councillors and other officials of the union councils for the past three years.

The court has issued notices to the respondents to file replies.

This was directed by a single-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani on Monday as he heard a petition filed by Farhan Kiyani on behalf of the Union Council (UC)-43 Vice President Zahid Maqbool and four other officials of the UC.

In their petition, the UC officials contended that being elected members of the federal capital's local government, they were entitled to benefits of their posts such as salaries. However, they contended that Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz and Chief Officer of the IMC have failed to fulfil their obligations of paying the salaries.

'These are the respondents who badly failed to release the salaries of the petitioners due to which the petitioners are facing a lot of inconveniences,' read the petition, adding that the union councillors had on numerous occasions raised this issue with both IMC officials but both have ignored the requests and the resolution made in the 13th meeting of the metropolitan corporation which took place in May 2017.

'The illegal act of the respondents violates the fundamental rights of the petitioners,' the petition added, noting that the petitioners have no alternative, adequate and efficacious remedy available to him except to file a writ petition before the court.

They urged the court to direct the IMC mayor and chief officer to release all their salaries. The court subsequently issued notices to the mayor and adjourned the case for an indefinite period.

Defence arguments sought

A divisional bench of the IHC, comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Kayani heard a petition challenging the bail granted to the Raja Arshad, the main accused in the Barrister Fahd Malik murder case

During Monday's proceedings, the court asked about the whereabouts of the petitioner's counsel Faisal Siddiqui. At this, Siddiqui's assistant Khawaja Naveed told the court that he was home, sick.

At this, the court directed the junior lawyer to furnish arguments.

The court further asked Naveed why did they want to adjourn the case. At this, the junior lawyer stated that they did not want the case to be adjourned.

The defence counsel interjected that four objections had been raised on the applicant's petition. Moreover, they contended that the petition should have been moved before the relevant forum before approaching the high court.

He added that the victim's mother was not included in the first information report (FIR) therefore he pleaded that the court should dismiss the petition. At this, the petitioner's counsel argued that the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) had no authority to grant bail to a suspect who was arrested under the Terrorism Act. He further argued that the accused has already attempted to flee abroad via the Torkham border after obtaining bail and hence was a flight risk.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:May 14, 2019
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