Tuesday, April 12, 2022

LHC advises Hamza, Elahi to decide on Punjab CM poll amicably

LHC CJ Ameer Bhatti tells parties of case to settle matter through mutual consultation, decide date for Punjab CM election

PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi (left) and PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz. — Twitter
PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi (left) and PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz. — Twitter

  • Justice Ameer Bhatti tells parties to settle matter through mutual consultation and decide date for Punjab CM's election.
  • “Don’t create a scene. Solve the problem at home," says LHC CJ.
  • Issues orders regarding arrangements for next provincial assembly session.

LAHORE: The candidates for Punjab's top slot, PML-Q leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz have been advised by the Lahore High Court (LHC) to decide a date for the chief minister's election amicably instead of "creating a scene", The News reported.

While hearing the case against the delay in the CM election, LHC Chief Justice Ameer Bhatti asked the lawyers of all the parties of the case to gather at the Punjab advocate-general's office and settle the date for the CM election through mutual consultation.

“Don’t create a scene. Remember we are all residents of this country. Solve the problem at home, together," the LHC CJ remarked.

At the onset of the hearing, the LHC CJ inquired about the election process, noting that an Assembly session cannot be adjourned once the election process has started.

Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti said the date for the CM election will be announced after the submission of nomination papers by the candidates and their scrutiny by the secretariat.

The secretary informed the court that the lawmakers belonging to the PML-N had allegedly ransacked the furniture of the House during the session on April 3. The furniture is now being replaced.

"As a result of the ruckus, the session was adjourned until April 16," he said.

Khan said the powers of Deputy Speaker Mazari were revoked after a notification was made public through media that had said the session would be held on April 6 instead of April 16.

"This led Speaker Parvez Elahi, a nominee for the chief minister as well, to withdraw all powers of the acting speaker.

"The deputy speaker’s powers were revoked because of a no-confidence motion against him," the secretary said.

Asking about the date of the CM election, the chief justice observed that the date cannot be changed. 

At this, the PA secretary’s counsel said that the PA had summoned the session for April 16.

The court ordered the opening of the office of the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker and directed the LHC registrar and Punjab Assembly secretary to accompany the deputy speaker to his office.

The court further directed the registrar to assess the assembly’s condition after the earlier ruckus. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Dost Muhammad Mazari appeared before the court and maintained that he had acted as per the law but his office was closed. 

Responding to an objection by the deputy speaker to the assembly secretary, the LHC chief justice said "let the first order be implemented."

The court will make a decision about powers of the deputy speaker and its use on Tuesday, he said. 

Advocate Amir Saeed Rawn on behalf of the PML-Q argued that the powers of the deputy speaker were withdrawn over the misuse. It is not known why the date of the assembly session was changed at midnight, he said.

The counsel for Hamza Shehbaz and the deputy speaker objected to the use of inappropriate language by the PML-Q’s counsel.

Punjab Advocate-General Ahmad Owais stated that the session was postponed due to the ruckus. 

However, the LHC chief justice noted that it did not mean that the Assembly session should not be convened under such circumstances. 

Subsequently, the LHC CJ adjourned the hearing until Tuesday (today).