LHC to announce verdict in Hamza’s oath-taking case today

LHC CJ vexed by inordinate delay in Hamza’s swearing-in: Wonders if court nominates some representative

By: News Desk
Published: 12:41 PM, 26 Apr, 2022
LHC to announce verdict in Hamza’s oath-taking case today
Caption: File photo.
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The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday reserved its verdict in the petition filed by Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz for the appointment of a person to take oath from him.

According to the 24News HD TV channel, the LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Amir Bhatti will announce the decision todatoday at 10 am. 

During the hearing, LHC Chief Justice (CJ) Muhammad Ameer Bhatti asked under which law was the governor authorized to look into the genuineness of the chief minister’s election.

He went on to add that the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker was no ordinary person. “He was acting as a presiding officer at the time of election of the new provincial chief minister,” he said, adding, “But the way the LHC order was flouted on the election day is for everybody to see.”

The advocate general, Punjab requested the CJ to exercise restraint. “You cannot make the president bound to act within a given timeframe,” he argued. 

CJ Bhatti wondered how on earth could a province function without a chief minister. “What has been happening with the constitution in Punjab for the last 20 to 25 days is unfortunate,” he remarked.

The visibly vexed Chief Justice of Lahore High Court wondered why the President was not nominating someone who could administer oath to Chief-Minister-elect Hamza Sharif despite the clear order issued by the court in its previous ruling.

LHC CJ Muhammad Ameer Bhatti on Tuesday was hearing a petition filed by CM-elect Hamza requesting the court to appoint Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani directing him to administer his swearing-in. 

Chief Justice Bhatti, in his Friday’s ruling, had asked President Alvi to nominate some other constitutional representative who could administer oath to Hamza after the refusal of Punjab Governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema who cited irregularities during the CM election and detached himself from performing the constitutional duty. 

The judge expressed his displeasure over the inordinate delay in the swearing-in of the CM-elect. He wondered what holding the president from nominating some other representative. 

“Should the court itself nominate some representative for administering the oath,” Chief Justice Bhatti remarked. 

The judge said that the Constitution was being violated by not taking oath from the CM-elect. He wondered under which constitutional mandate all this delay was being made. 

CJ Bhatti inquired which law allowed the Governor to look into the election of chief minister. He said that Punjab Assembly speaker was not a ruffian. The Deputy Speaker was presiding officer. 

The Punjab Advocate General told the court that this matter was delicate and patience was required to sort this issue. 

On this, the CJ said the court showed patience and sent the matter to the assembly. But, he rued that the court order was blatantly ignored during the Punjab Assembly session that was called to elect chief minister on April 16.

The Punjab AG said that the court could not give timeframe to the President. 

The CJ fumed at the AG and inquired if a province could run without a chief minister! He said everyone was seeing what had been happening for the last 20 to 25 days with the constitution. He told off the AG saying the court was not expecting this kind of argument from him. He lamented despite the clear order by the court, wait for the expiration of 15 days constitutional period was being held. 

Reporter Malik Ashraf