LHC seeks replies from Hamza, others on Punjab CM election

LHC seeks replies from Hamza, others on Punjab CM election

Lahore (Web Desk): The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday issued notices to Hamza Shahbaz and other respondents, seeking their reply over the petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) against the election of Hamza's election as Punjab chief minister.

According to details,

A bench, headed by LHC Chief Justice Ameer Bhatti, conducted the hearing on separate petitions filed by the PTI and PML-Q.

PTI lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar and others appeared before the court.

While presenting his arguments, Barrister Ali Zafar maintained that election for the Punjab CM was held on April 16 as per the LHC's directives and Hamza took oath as the CM.

However, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled while giving interpretation on Article 63(A) of the Constitution that dissidents' votes cannot be counted, he added.

Justice Bhatti inquired from when the apex court's ruling will be applicable.

"It has to be seen if the actions that have been taken before the SC's ruling can be nullified or not," the judge remarked.

The court accepted the pleas for hearing and issued notices to the respondents including Hamza, Punjab chief secretary, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari, Punjab governor's principal secretary and Punjab Assembly's secretary.

The court adjourned the hearing till May 25.

PTI's MPAs, including Sibtain Khan, maintained in the plea that the police forced the PTI and PML-Q out of the Punjab Assembly to prevent them from exercising their right to vote at the behest of Hamza, followed by riots and chaos, after which Hamza was declared the Punjab CM.

They also questioned the presence of cops inside the provincial assembly.

In his petition, Pervaiz Elahi, who was also the PTI-PML-Q's candidate for the CM Office, requested the court to declare that Hamza was not the chief minister since he had failed to secure the requisite number of votes in light of the SC's interpretation stating the votes of defecting lawmakers would not be counted.

Hamza was elected as chief minister Punjab in a ruckus marred session of the Punjab Assembly on April 16, 2022.

Ahead of the vote, three PTI members of the Punjab Assembly were arrested for attacking Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari as the party boycotted the session to elect the new chief minister.

Hamza had received 197 votes while his opponent, Pervaiz Elahi did not receive any votes as his party and PTI had boycotted the polls.

The PML-N leader faced several delays in assuming charge of the CM Office as the then Punjab governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema's refusal to administer him oath.

Hamza approached the LHC thrice, seeking directions for his oath to be administered. He was finally sworn in on April 30.

Speaker National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had administered the oath to Hamza Shehbaz on LHC's direction.