LHC directs governor to complete oath-taking process of Punjab CM by April 28

LHC directs governor to complete oath-taking process of Punjab CM by April 28

Lahore (Web Desk): The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday directed Punjab Governor to administer oath to newly elected Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz either himself or representative for the purpose by tomorrow (Thursday).

According to details, LHC Chief Justice (CJ) Ameer Bhatti announced the verdict on chief minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz's petition against the delay of his oath-taking, which the court ruled as "unconstitutional".

The court regretted that country's biggest province has been functioning without a chief executive for the last twenty five days.

The verdict said that the oath of the CM-elect is being delayed on one pretext or the other, which is not only against democratic norms but also against the scheme of the constitution.

It added that all provisions of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, suggested prompt formation of governments, both federal and provincial.

"For that matter, expeditious administration of oath either by President or by Governor or their nominee, as the case may be, is mandatory," he said, pointing out that there was no "vacuum" or "space" in the Constitution to delay the administration of oath.

“Moreover, President of Pakistan, who is also under constitutional obligation to facilitate the expeditious administration of oath of Prime Minister or Chief Minister in any province, hence is suggested to play his role mandated by the constitution/law, ensuring a functional Provincial Government in Punjab,” the ruling further read.

The LHC CJ directed the concerned officials to immediately fax the court's order to the President and Governor Punjab.

On Tuesday, the court reserved the verdict on Hamza's plea, which is the second time PML-N has reached out to the high court for the resolution of the matter.

Hamza was elected as Punjab's chief minister on April 16. However, he hasn't sworn in yet as his oath-taking was deferred twice despite the LHC's directives for not delaying the matter any further.

Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema had refused to administer the oath terming Hazma’s election by the Punjab Assembly as unconstitutional.

In a press conference on April 17, the Punjab governor accused the CM-elect of using “state power” on the polling day against his rivals. Cheema added that Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari also acted in a "partisan way".

Punjab CM-elect Hamza Shehbaz had moved the LHC against the delay in oath taking process.

The court had directed President Dr Arif Alvi to nominate anyone in his stead to swear in the newly elected Punjab chief Hamza Shahbaz.

After that Hamza Shehbaz moved the LHC again, seeking execution of the court’s order. He requested the court to direct the Senate chairperson to administer the oath to wrap up the constitutional crisis.