LHC adjourns hearing of Hamza’s oath-taking case until tomorrow

By: News Desk
Published: 04:21 PM, 29 Jun, 2022
LHC adjourns hearing of Hamza’s oath-taking case until tomorrow
Caption: File photo.
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The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday said the verdicts given by the US courts in which it was said that they had nothing to do with the events of the past and would take effect from today were not binding on the Pakistani courts, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

During the hearing of intra-court petitions filed against the decision on the oath-taking of Hamza Shehbaz as Punjab chief minister, Justice Shahid Jameel Khan asked whether there existed a precedent which had said that a court’s decision would not apply to the past.  

A five-member larger bench of the LHC, headed by Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan, heard the case. 

PTI’s counsel Amir Saeed Rawn Advocate told the court that as per the division list, Hamza Shehbaz had received 197 votes in the election for the Punjab chief minister (CM) while his opponent Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi received none.

The judge remarked that must be due to the boycott of the election by both by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).  

Rawn Advocate, however, told the court there was no boycott. “The fact is that members of the Punjab Assembly (MPAs) belonging to both the parties were not allowed to vote,” he added. 

Referring to PTI counsel’s statement, the advocate general of Punjab (AGP) said he (Rawn) had himself admitted that voting did take place. 

Barrister Ali Zafar, also representing the PTI in the case, said total 197 votes were cast in the favour of Hamza. “But the fact is that for an MPA to become the provincial chief minister, he needs to secure 186 votes,” he said, and added, “If we subtract 25 votes of PTI’s ‘turncoats’, these come down to 172. And the CM enjoying the support of 172 MPAs ceases to be the chief minister.”    

Therefore, he went on to add, the court would have to de-notify Hamza as the Punjab chief minister.  

Speaking on the occasion, counsel for the Punjab Assembly’s deputy speaker said he had given all details of what had happened in the provincial assembly on April 16, 2022 (the election day), in his reply submitted to the court. “On that day, my client was attacked,” he added. 

When Rawn Advocate told the court that the PA secretary had sent a report to the Punjab governor on the Punjab CM election, Justice Shahid Jameel Khan asked whether the report could be deemed ‘factual’. “Does there exist an inquiry report on the chief minister’s election; Can the LHC order a probe in order to know the facts?” he questioned.       

Azhar Siddique Advocate, another PTI’s lawyer, said there existed video footages which shed light on the happenings of that day.    

Rawn Advocate said that the deputy speaker in his reply had said that he had supervised the election on the order of the LHC. “But the point to be noted here is that the high court had not given any such instruction to him that he should call police to the assembly hall in any situation,” he argued. 

“These are controversial matters, and we cannot go into their details,” Justice Shahid Jameel Khan remarked.

Hamza’s lawyer, on the other hand, was of the view that his client’s election had not been challenged from the word ‘go’.

The court then adjourned hearing of the case until 12:30 PM tomorrow (Thursday, June 30, 2022). 

Reporter: Malik Ashraf