LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday issued notices to Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan, Secretary Law, Presiding Officer and others on a petition challenging the election of PA speaker held recently.

The division bench comprising Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabir and Justice Raheel Kamran issued notices on a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPA Saiful Malook Khokhar and another MPA.

During the proceedings, the petitioners’ counsel argued before the bench that as per law, it was mandatory to hold the Punjab Assembly speaker election through a secret ballot. He submitted that balloting had not been secret in Friday’s election of the Speaker as the ballot papers and counterfoils were serial-numbered.

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He submitted that the choice, exercised by the MPAs, could be traced by comparing the serial number on the ballot paper and the serial number on the counterfoils. “As a result, the secrecy of the ballot could easily be breached,” he added.

He submitted that it was a violation of the law and Constitution to put a serial number on the ballot papers. He pleaded with the court to declare the election as illegal and order re-polling for the slot. At this, the bench questioned whether any other forum was available to challenge the election of the Speaker. Whether the Election Commission could look into the matter, it added. However, the counsel replied that only the LHC could be approached for redress of the grievance in the matter. Subsequently, the court issued notices to Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan and others. The court also issued notices to Advocate General Punjab and sought assistance in the matter.