LAHORE   -  The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday sought assistance from the advocate general of Punjab on a petition for the oath-taking of Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz. The court also ordered the advocate general to appear on Friday after taking instructions from Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema in the matter. LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti passed the orders while hearing a petition filed by newly-elected Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz. Earlier, Advocate Khalid Ishaq on behalf of Hamza Shehbaz argued before the court that his client had been elected as Punjab chief minister in an assembly session held on April 16 and he secured 197 votes.

He submitted that after the election, Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari forwarded the result to the Punjab governor to fulfil the requirements of Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure.

However, the governor was reluctant to administer an oath to his client and fulfil his constitutional duty, he added.

He submitted that the act of the governor was in sheer violation of the Constitutional provisions and pleaded with the court for issuance of necessary directions in this regard.

At this, the chief justice sought assistance from the advocate general of Punjab and issued a notice to him under section 27-A of Civil Procedure Code.

The LHC chief justice also ordered the advocate general to appear on Friday (today) after taking instructions from the governor in the matter. At this stage, Supreme Court Bar Association President Ahsan Bhoon requested the chief justice to fix the matter for hearing at 1pm as an assistant advocate general was also present in the court. However, the chief justice declined the request, observing that let the judicial system take its own course. Meanwhile, the chief justice dismissed an application filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader Kamil Ali Agha for becoming a party in the matter after being withdrawn.

During the proceedings, advocate Amir Saeed Rawn on behalf of the petitioner argued that the election of the chief minister had not been conducted in an appropriate manner. At this, the chief justice observed that this issue was not pending before him, adding that he was hearing the petition for oath taking of chief minister only. When this matter would come before the court then it would be reviewed, he added.

Subsequently, the chief justice dismissed the application after the petitioner counsel sought permission for withdrawing it.