ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court has temporarily reinstated the deputy commissioner’s authority to issue Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) orders, overturning a previous decision by a single bench.
A two-member bench, consisting of Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri, issued the verdict after suspending the earlier decision that had curtailed the deputy commissioner’s power to issue MPO orders. The court took this action following an intra-court appeal filed by the chief commissioner and others against the previous decision, issuing notices to the concerned parties.
Last month, a single bench led by Justice Babar Sattar had declared the deputy commissioner Islamabad’s authority to issue MPO orders as “null and void” in connection to the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Shehryar Afridi and Shandana Gulzar.
In response to this decision, the chief commissioner and home secretary filed an intra-court appeal challenging the ruling. The latest verdict temporarily restores the deputy commissioner’s authority, allowing for the issuance of MPO orders, until a final decision is reached.
Justice Sattar’s court had contended that the deputy commissioner lacked the authority to issue 3MPOs, asserting that this power should solely reside with the federal cabinet.
Consequently, the court declared Section 18 of the 3MPO Act, 1980 as illegal. The disposition of Afridi and Gulzar’s petition followed this ruling. The latest development reflects the ongoing legal and judicial discussions regarding the distribution of powers related to the issuance of MPO orders in Islamabad.