Wednesday, August 10, 2022

LHC issues notices in PA Speaker election case

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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has summoned Punjab advocate general (AG) for assistance in a case related to Punjab Assembly (PA) Speaker’s election, ARY News reported on Monday.

A two-member bench, headed by Justice  Muzzamil Akhtar Shabbir, heard a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) against the Punjab Assembly Speaker election.

Advocate Mansoor Awan represented Malik Saiful Malook Khokhar, the PML-N candidate for PA speaker slot. He claimed that the election was held in an ‘illegal and unconstitutional manner’.

He contended that the contest on the speaker’s slot was a ‘sheer violation’ of Article 226 which said that: “all elections under the Constitution, other than those of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister, shall be by secret ballot”.

Mansoor Awan further said that the ballot papers were serial numbered and were signed by each Members of Provincial Assembly (MPAs). “The choice exercised by each MPA could be identified by comparing the serial number on the ballot paper and the signatures,” he added.

After hearing the arguments, the court asked to move to another platform regarding Speaker election case. “Can this matter be referred to the Election Commission,” the court asked.  To which, Mansoor Awan responded in negative.

When asked about the challenge of Speaker election, the PML-N’s counsel said that as per his knowledge, the contest was challenged for the first time in the history of Pakistan.

The PML-N lawyer added that the election commission can take measures to stop rigging in such election. “The High Court has the power to intervene in this matter,” he added.

Later, the Lahore High Court issued notices to the respondents and summoned Punjab Advocate General (AG) for assistance in the case.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Sibtan Khan was elected as the new speaker of the Punjab Assembly on July 29.

Sibtain Khan won the election after securing 185 votes while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Saif ul Malook Khokhar obtained 175 votes. He was later sworn in as the speaker.

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