LHC seeks governor’s response over delay in CM’s oath-taking

DailyTimes  |  Apr 22, 2022

The Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday sought assistance of Advocate General Punjab Ahmad Awais in getting response from Governor Punjab Omar Cheema regarding delay in the administration of oath to Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz. After the governor’s reluctance to administer the oath, Hamza had moved the LHC to avert a constitutional crisis.

In his petition, Hamza pleaded that the governor had violated his constitutional duties as well as the court order by delaying the administration of oath him. The election for the CM was held on April 16 after the order of the LHC and Hamza emerged victorious bagging 197 votes in the house of 371 members.

After his victory, Acting Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari – who chaired the session in the speaker’s stead because Pervaiz Elahi was one of the nominees- had intimated the Punjab governor about the result as per legal requirements.

Governor Cheema, however, has not invited Hamza for oath and seems to be following the PTI line.

During the hearing of the case, CJ Muhammad Ameer Bhatti took exception to the request made by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Ahsan Bhoon to fix the case for today instead of tomorrow. “The assistant advocate general is here to assist the court,” said Bhoon, says a news report.

CJ Bhatti retorted why people always keep demanding urgency when matters are in the courts. He added the courts follow a procedure and rule of law.

“I am unable to comprehend that when the courts say ‘let the system take its course’, you people refuse to let it work,” he said while expressing annoyance.

Earlier this week, Hamza Shahbaz had filed a petition with the high court and made the Punjab governor as well as the Punjab chief secretary respondents.

He had stated that he had been elected as the Punjab chief minister on April 16, during a provincial assembly session held under the LHC’s direction and that he had secured 197 votes out of 371. Hamza had reiterated that he had won the simple majority in the contest, after which the Acting Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari provided copies of the result to Governor Cheema to fulfill the requirements of Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure.

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