The Sindh High Court issued notices on Monday to the provincial government on a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmakers against the alleged discrimination in the allocation of funds by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah
The petitioners, which included several PTI leaders such as Dr Arif Alvi, Samar Ali Khan, Dr Seema Yazdani Zia, Khurram Sher Zaman, Syed Hafeezuddin and Lal Chand, submitted that they are members of the national and the Sindh assemblies and have been elected from different constituencies of Karachi and Umerkot.
Published in Tribune on 10th June 2014
The bench directed the advocate-general to file comments on behalf of the chief secretary, additional secretary for planning and development, principal secretary to the chief minister, and the chief of the Tameer-e-Pakistan Programme by June 10, when another identical petition will be taken up for hearing.
They told the two-judge bench that an amount of Rs40 million for development schemes to be identified by the MPAs and MNAs of Sindh was to be provided by the chief minister for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
The petitioners said that legislators were directed to submit proposals of the development schemes in their constituencies on the basis of the criteria mentioned in the letter.
Advocate Khalil Ahmed Siddiqui, who represented the PTI legislators, said that the petitioners, in compliance with the letter, had submitted their development schemes proposals, but their proposals are not being processed. “The respondents have even accorded approval to the proposals and funding to the schemes suggested by the senators of the ruling party, despite the fact that the issued notification does not provide for them,” he pointed out. “The respondents’ actions are not only in violation of the notification but are also discriminatory as funds are being released only to the approved schemes within the constituencies of the ruling party’s legislators.”
Siddiqui said that the respondent authorities have been instigated at the behest of the ruling party, which intends to discredit and malign the petitioners by depriving their constituencies of the development schemes’ funds to try and ensure that they are not elected in the next general elections.
The respondents have infringed the petitioners’ right to be treated in accordance with the law as provided in Article 4 of the Constitution, he argued, pleading to the court to order the authorities to allocate funds for the development schemes in their constituencies without any discrimination.
Headed by Justice Irfan Saadat, the bench issued notices to the respondents and AG Sindh to file their comments by June 10.