ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan has summoned Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shahbaz and Speaker Punjab Assembly Parvez Elahi in a plea filed by PTI challenging the LHC order to hold the poll on a day’s notice.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial along with Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Jamal Mandokhel heard the petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) against the Lahore High Court (LHC) verdict for the recount of votes for the election of Chief Minister Punjab.
The chief justice directed Hamza Shahbaz and Parvez Elahi to appear before the apex court registry in Lahore before 4:00 pm to give their arguments on the case via video link. The court adjourned the proceedings for 30 minutes.
The court further remarked that it appeared that the election is likely not to be held today.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Umar Ata Bandial has earlier, asked PTI to prepare arguments to defend their plea regarding a delay in the election of the chief minister of Punjab after the party challenged the LHC order to hold the poll on a day’s notice.
Babar Awan who represented the Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Sibtain Khan said that April 16 election saw manhandling in the House and police were summoned inside it.
Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked that Hamza Shahbaz’s election stands void after the LHC decided that 25 votes of dissident PTI members could not be counted. He, however, said that the second round of the poll would not require a simple majority of 186 votes.
Chief Justice asked PTI counsel if they were ready to hold the polls in a day and what are the justification for the apex court to intervene in the order of the Lahore High Court. “The MPAs inside Pakistan could easily reach the assembly in a day,” Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan remarked following the PTI plea to postpone the polls for seven days.
The judge however said that giving seven days for the elections would not be appropriate.
Justice Ijaz asked Babar Awan to persuade the court over why the Punjab Assembly session should not be held today. “After your arguments, we will decide if the session could be convened today or not,” he said.
PTI plea before Supreme Court
Earlier in the day, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) filed an appeal against the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) decision to recount votes in the CM election in the Punjab Assembly.
According to details, PTI has filed an appeal against the LHC decision about the CM Punjab elections, claiming the order to conduct the election within 24 hours would damage the relief provided by the court.
The PTI plea admits that the LHC decision validated their concerns and provided them relief but the order to summon the session within 24 hours would damage them.
The PTI plea says that the Supreme Court should accept the plea against LHC and reschedule the PA session some days later. Six of PTI MPAs are in Saudi Arabia for Hajj, while some other are outbound for other reasons, it added.
The party demanded the suspension of Hamza Shehbaz’s CM notification, claiming fair elections are only possible when he is removed.