The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday sought the text of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb's July 18 press conference in which the former had allegedly mentioned making PTI lawmakers disappear before the upcoming chief minister’s election in Punjab.
A two-member bench comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the petition filed by PML-Q leader Elahi.
During the hearing today, Elahi's lawyer Faisal Fareed urged the court to initiate contempt proceedings against Sanaullah, Aurangzeb, and PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar.
He contended that they had violated the July 1 Supreme Court order for holding "run-off polls" for the office of the Punjab CM on July 22 and during the interregnum period, "Hamza Shehbaz remain within the confines of the Constitution and the law without incidence of harassment of political opponents or witch-hunt".
Furthermore, the lawyer urged the court to fix the petition for hearing.
However, Justice Ahsan remarked that the petitioner was "merely quoting a newspaper clipping" and summoned a transcript of the press conference in court.
The court further observed that once the text was submitted, the case would be set for hearing.
The PML-Q leader had filed a petition in the SC on Tuesday, urging it to initiate contempt proceedings against Hamza, Sanaullah, and Aurangzeb.
In a petition moved through Fareed, Elahi had said that after PTI’s victory in the July 17 by-polls for 20 seats, the petitioner and his allies had secured the requisite majority to form the next government in Punjab as decided by the sovereigns of the state the public at large. It urged the SC to summon the alleged contemnor and award punishment to them for violating the court directions.
In pursuant to the SC's July 1 order, he claimed, preparation for the Punjab CM election was underway without any hurdle and he was determined to hold the election and business of assembly in a peaceful, just, transparent manner in accordance with the constitution and the law strictly as well as in accordance with letter and spirit of the court order.
However, he alleged, the respondents after losing the majority in the Punjab Assembly became unnerved and were showing extreme anger and frustration. He further alleged the respondents while acting in a reckless, unconstitutional, and unlawful manner have threatened to “remove members” belonging to the PTI and its allies by blatantly flouting the court directions.
According to the petition, the statement of interior minister Rana Sanaullah “abuses, interferes with and obstructs the process” of the court, as the same was to be considered an obstruction to the implementation of the court’s order and it amounted to creating a constitutional vacuum, anomaly or complication, and would keep the citizens of Punjab deprived of due representation and governance.
The July 19 press conference
At a press conference alongside Aurangzeb on Monday, Sanaullah had said: “We will not let Elahi become the CM easily.
"If five to seven PTI lawmakers don’t come to the assembly on the voting day (July 22), how will the PTI have its chief minister?” he had asked.
According to a Dawn report, the PML-N has been working on either ‘detaining’ a few PTI lawmakers in different cases or luring some of them with lucrative packages to abstain from voting.