Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed candidate and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Pervez Elahi Chief took oath as Chief Minister of Punjab after the Supreme Court (SC) declared Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari’s July 22 ruling in the CM election null and void.
President Dr Arif Alvi administered the oath to the newly elected chief minister in Islamabad.
Chaudhry Pervez Elahi had filed a petition against Mazari’s decision of July 22 in the re-election of the provincial chief minister which led to Hamza Shehbaz’s victory.
A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial and Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Munib Akhtar announced the decision.
In its verdict, the court said is no legal justification for the Deputy Speaker's ruling.
During the election, Mazari had decided against counting the votes of 10 PML-Q lawmakers, which were cast in Elahi’s favour, citing a letter written by party President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in which he had instructed them to vote for Hamza instead.
The bench also ordered that Punjab Governor Baligh ur Rehman administer the oath to Elahi at 11:30pm.
It added if the governor refuses to perform his duties then President Arif Alvi will administer the oath.
Following Governor Punjab’s refusal, Elahi left for Islamabad late Tuesday night to take oath from Alvi as per the court order.
The SC bench also declared appointments made by Hamza Shahbaz and the oath administered to the Punjab cabinet "illegal".
The court said that its orders should be implemented at once, and directed that copies of the verdict should be sent to Punjab governor, chief secretary and deputy speaker.
Earlier in the day, the SC reserved its verdict on Parvez Elahi’s petition challenging the deputy speaker’s ruling.
On July 22, the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker had dismissed Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid's (PML-Q) 10 votes after party head Chaudhry Shujaat asked them to vote in favour of Hamza, but they did not follow his instructions.
But the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pervez Elahi did not accept this and approached the SC.
At the previous hearing on July 23, the court had allowed Hamza to remain "trustee" chief minister till Monday.
On the other hand, the ruling coalition boycotted the proceedings in protest after the bench turned down the government's request for constituting a full court to hear the pleas regarding Punjab CM re-election.