LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday issued notices to Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz and other respondents on petitions against his election and also asked the lawyers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the PML-Q to assist on retrospective effect of the Supreme Court’s opinion on the votes of defectors.

At the outset of the hearing, Barrister Ali Zafar appeared on behalf of the parties/petitioners and argued that the respondent chief minister lost majority after the interpretation of Article 63A of the Constitution by the Supreme Court.

He said the election conducted by the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker was in line with the orders passed by the high court. He said the assembly session was held after severe thrashing of the PTI and PML-Q members wherein Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, a candidate for the chief minister’s office, was also roughed up and injured.

He said the impugned election in entirety was a sham and a mockery.

The counsel said Hamza was declared a returned candidate by obtaining the highest votes, including 25 from defectors. He argued that the election of the respondent was liable to be declared unlawful in view of the opinion given by the apex court about votes of the defectors.

He asked the court to order a fresh election for the post of the chief minister in the province.

Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti observed that the court would need assistance from the parties on the implementation of the SC opinion on the previous actions.

The chief justice admitted the petitions for regular hearing and issued notices to the respondents for May 25.

The justice also issued notices on a similar petition filed by senior lawyer Mushtaq Ahmad Mohal. The lawyer asked the court to seek an explanation from Hamza that under what authority he was holding the office of the chief minister.

Published in Dawn,May 21st, 2022

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