Clipping powers of the speaker: LHC denies stay to Parvez against ordinance by governor

Published June 21, 2022
Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi and Governor Balighur Rehman — DawnNewsTV
Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi and Governor Balighur Rehman — DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday turned down a request of Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi to stay an ordinance issued by the governor clipping powers of the speaker.

Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi, however, issued a notice to the government and sought assistance from the advocate general of Punjab.

Earlier, Ahmad Awais and Azhar Siddique appeared before the court on behalf of the speaker.

The counsel asked the court to immediately stay the Punjab Laws (Repealing and Removal of Difficulties Ordinance 2022.

The judge observed that the challenge was against an ordinance and it would not be appropriate to issue a stay order without hearing the point of view of the government.

The judge sought replies from the respondents by June 24.

The petition filed by the speaker contends that the governor issued the ordinance in an unlawful manner and with a mala fide intention. It says the Punjab Assembly session was already in progress when the governor unlawfully promulgated the ordinance.

It argues that such an illegal act could not be justified under the law by any stretch of imagination as the promulgation of such ordinance negated the democratic principles and the rule of law as enshrined in the Constitution.

The petition states that the promulgation of the impugned ordinance was a device to legalise the plundering of public money and robbing the national exchequer by unconstitutional way.

“If the impugned ordinance is not struck down, it will amount to legalising the most heinous offence being committed by the respondents,” it adds.

It asks the court to set aside the ordinance along with subsequent notifications issued by the government.

The chief secretary, the law and parliamentary affairs secretary, the deputy speaker and the special secretary (admin) of the assembly have been listed as respondents in the petition.

Governor Balighur Rehman by promulgating the ordinance curtailed the speaker’s powers and empowered the Punjab law and parliamentary affairs department to issue notifications regarding summoning or prorogation of the provincial assembly.

Pre-arrest bail: An anti-terrorism court on Monday granted pre-arrest bail to 12 leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in yet another case of violence and torture on police personnel during the long march.

Judge Amber Gul allowed the bail petitions of the PTI leaders till June 28 with a direction to furnish bail bonds of Rs100,000 each. The petitioners include Dr Yasmin Rashid, Hammad Azhar, Zubair Khan Niazi, Yasir Gilani, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Imtiaz Sheikh, Nadeem Abbas and Mian Akram Usman.

Advocate Burhan Moazzam Malik argued on behalf of the petitioners saying the police registered multiple cases against them on similar charges. He said the police acted at the behest of the government only to victimise the petitioners on political grounds.

The PTI leaders are already on bail in several other FIRs registered by the police in the wake of violence during the long march.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2022

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