Delay in oath-taking ceremony: LHC to hear Hamza plea against governor today

Published April 21, 2022
PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz outside Lahore High Court. — DawnNewsTV/File
PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz outside Lahore High Court. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti will hear a petition of Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz on Thursday (today) against the governor for delaying his oath taking ceremony.

The petition said Hamza has been elected as chief minister in a session held on the directions of the LHC. It said Governor Umar Sarfraz Cheema has been refusing to adhere to the constitutional command and delaying the oath taking ceremony of the petitioner.

It said: “It is a constitutional convention that the chief minister-elect is offered oath on the same day of his/her election as chief minister by the governor without any delay or failure, but it is unfortunate that we live in the eras of president and governors who are shelled in their narrow political landscape and have failed to appreciate the grace expected from such esteemed constitutional roles and offices.”

The petition stated that ironically, the incumbent governor had not summoned the petitioner to take oath in sheer disregard of the Constitution and constitutional convention.

It said the incumbent governor was a former office-bearer and worker of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf and he was bent upon creating a constitutional crisis in the province.

It said the impugned inaction of the governor was based on extraneous and irrelevant factors.

It argued that the entire edifice of the reasoning by the governor, as reported in the media, was unconstitutional, irrelevant and based upon a misconceived and erroneous understanding that the governor had any authority or discretion at his disposal.

It said the illegal and unconstitutional inaction to call upon the chief minister-elect and refusal to administer oath on the basis of some misconceived and unconstitutional figment of imagination was clearly politically motivated and had no nexus with the constitutional role of the governor.

The petition asked the court to order the governor to administer the oath of petitioner as per the prevalent constitutional dispensation without any further delay. It also asked the court to appoint any other person to administer the oath of the chief minister to the petitioner.

The other day, the LHC registrar had returned the petition of Hamza after finding some necessary documents missing with it. The legal team of Hamza filed the petition afresh on Wednesday with the necessary documents.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2022

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