Monday, August 15, 2022

LHC reserves verdict in Punjab CM oath-taking case

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LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday heard implementation petition with regard to the court’s order for oath taking of Punjab’s Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz.

Chief Justice LHC Muhammad Ameer Bhatti reserved verdict over the petition after hearing arguments on the case.

Advocate General Punjab Ahmad Awais argued that the court should not hear the matter, as it has been under consideration of the President. “The petition is non-maintainable,” he said.

“The Prime Minister has wrote letter to the President, who is looking into the matter,” AG Punjab said. “Which clause of the constitution allows the governor to inquire into election,” the court questioned.

“The deputy speaker conducted the election on the orders of the court,” Chief Justice said. ” Deputy Speaker was elected on behalf of the PTI, later he changed the side,” advocate general said. “This matter is not under our hearing,” the bench remarked.

“The president is not answerable to anyone under the constitution,” AG Punjab argued. “The president can not be made bound to take decision in a specific period. It will be better for all to tackle the matter with patience,” he said.

“You see how the court order has been tackled. We had sent the matter to the President, what he did with it,” the court observed.

“You are working under the constitution, what is happening in Punjab. The province is without a chief minister and cabinet for how many days, is it constitutional,” the bench asked. “All matters will be delayed for 15 days, saying the constitution permits it. The constitution allows for 15 days, you have to give answer of every moment why the matter was delayed,” chief justice LHC said.

“You were not expected to give such answer,” chief justice told the AG Punjab.

“I am here for the constitution and it will be anarchy, if the constitution not implemented,” advocate general said.

“The report was sent to the Prime Minister who directed for implementation on the court’s order,” a government official told the court.

“President is the head of the state, what he did in past several days for solution of the problem,” chief justice asked. “If he will only waiting for completion of the constitutional period. We tried to give all respect to the President but perhaps he didn’t like it,” Chief Justice LHC said. “If the matter will be resolved before 15 days or not,” he questioned.

“No action taken from the president from 1st to 22 April, when the court’s order sent to him, now being said that there are 15 days remaining,” chief justice remarked. “The Governor sent the ball to the President, now the time is being passed,” the bench remarked.

“They have made the constitution a joke and playing with it like ping pong,” Advocate Ashtar Ausaf who is representing Hamza Shehbaz in the case, said.

Chief Justice addressing the AG Punjab asked him to read the reply of the president and tell, “If he wants to resolve the matter”.

The court after completion of the lawyers arguments reserved its verdict over the matter.

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