ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz challenged his suspension orders by the interior ministry in the Islamabad High Court on Monday.
The mayor was suspended “with immediate effect for a period of ninety (90) days for fair conduct of inquiry under section 96, sub-section (1) of Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Act, 2015 (X of 2015)”, read the notification issued by the interior ministry on Sunday.
Aziz filed the petition to cancel the earlier notification issued by the ministry by allowing him to resume office till the court decided the matter.
In his petition, the federal government, Ministry of Interior and the local government commission have been made parties to the case. In his petition, the mayor asked the court to direct the parties to work within the parameters of the law.
“The action taken against me is illegal,” Aziz maintains in the petition.
Earlier this year, a reference had been filed against Aziz — who is affiliated with opposition party PML-N — in which it was alleged that he was abusing his powers, using staff for personal use, and operating official vehicles that were reportedly beyond his entitlement.
The reference was filed by Humayun Akhtar, a member of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the acting Chief Metropolitan Officer (CMO). A local government commission led by PTI lawmaker Ali Nawaz Awan had recommended Aziz be suspended during the course of an ensuing investigation.
MNA Awan is also the Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on CDA Affairs. The matter appeared to be a political tug of war between the PTI and the PML-N.
Mayor Aziz, however, had challenged the reference in a petition to the Islamabad High Court, claiming the accusations against him were politically motivated. He had informed the court that despite a legal delegation of power to the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), many of the functions had not been transferred by the CDA and the chief commissioner office to the MCI. Aziz had also alleged that the ruling PTI had paralysed union councils in Islamabad and that MNA Awan had brought up challenges for the mayor soon after being appointed the head of the commission that filed the reference against him.