Pervaiz Elahi urges court to annul Punjab CM election, order new vote

Pleads Hamza Shehbaz did not get required number of votes: LHC issues notices to Hamza and others in pleas challenging his election: Seeks assistance regarding when SC verdict will be applicable on dissident members and whether court can null actions already taken

By: News Desk
Published: 10:20 AM, 20 May, 2022
Pervaiz Elahi urges court to annul Punjab CM election, order new vote
Caption: File photos.
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The Lahore High Court has issued notices to Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and others on petitions filed by PTI and PML-Q leader Ch Pervaiz Elahi challenging Hamza’s election and praying to the court to declare it illegal and unconstitutional in the light of recent Supreme Court’s verdict declaring dissident members’ votes invalid, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The LHC clubbed together two petitions challenging Hamza’s election and seeking court order to stop him from working as chief minister of the province. One petition was filed by PTI leaders including Sibtain Khan and others yesterday and the other plea was submitted to the court today (Friday) by Speaker PA Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi

The petitions were heard by LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti. 

At the outset of the hearing, the CJ Bhatti asked when would the SC verdict be applicable on the dissident members and sought help in this regard. 

The chief justice further remarked that the court had to see that the steps which had already been taken whether they could be declared null and void. 

Barrister Ali Zafar and Safdar Amir Saeed Ran advocate appeared before the court on behalf of Ch Pervaiz Elahi and the PTI leaders, respectively. 

PML-Q lawyer Ali Zafar contended that Hamza failed to get enough votes in the Punjab Assembly required to become the chief minister. “In the light of Supreme Court judgement, Hamza does not have the required numbers,” he added. 

Saeed Ran advocate said that the PA deputy speaker declared Hamza successful without any reason. He said that the elections for Punjab chief minister were held on April 16 on court order. 

CJ Bhatti remarked that ‘the beauty (of democracy) lies in the fact that elections should be held’. 

However, the CJ after seeking assistance on certain questions issued notices to Hamza, Punjab chief secretary and others in this regard and adjourned the hearing till May 25.

Earlier, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi challenged Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz’s election in the Lahore High Court pleading it to order for holding new vote after declaring CM’s election null and void. 

PA Speaker Elahi, who also contested for the slot of chief minister during April 16 election in the Punjab Assembly which were held on the direction of the high court, made Hamza Shehbaz and others respondents in his petition. 

Mr Elahi contended in his petition that Hamza did not get the votes required for becoming a chief minister in the light of new verdict announced by the Supreme Court on April 18 in which the apex court declared that votes of the dissident members would not be counted. 

It is pertinent to mention here that Hamza was elected as the Punjab CM on April 16, during a provincial assembly session that was marred by mayhem. He got a total of 197 votes — 11 more than the required 186 — including from 25 dissident PTI MPAs that were crucial for his victory.

Elahi in his petition further stated that Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari declared Hamza winner without any reason. He pleaded the court to stop Hamza from working as Chief Minister of Punjab. He also beseeched the court to null the election of Hamza as Punjab CM.

The petitioner further prayed to the court to order new election for the CM slot after removing Hamza. 

On Thursday, five PTI leaders including Sibtain Khan submitted a petition to the Lahore High Court seeking removal of Hamza as chief minister after declaring his election illegal. 

The petition made Hamza Shehbaz, chief secretary, Punjab Assembly speaker and others respondents in the case. 

The petition stated that after the verdict of the Supreme Court, Hamza lost his majority in the provincial assembly and his continuation being chief minister of the province was illegal and unconstitutional. 

The PTI petition was filed by Mushtaq Ahmad Mohil advocate.

The petition requested the court to stop Hamza from working as Punjab CM, besides beseeching it to issue an order directing the Punjab chief secretary and other high officials not to unduly favour Hamza.

Reporter Malik Ashraf