LAHORE - A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial conducted hearing of the petition filed by PML (Q) leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi against Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly’s ruling at Lahore Registry on Saturday.

In his remarks, the Chief Justice said that the case cannot be decided without hearing the stance of the other side. He said that the final verdict of this case will be announced on Tuesday. Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly, Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari did not attend the hearing. However, he was represented by his lawyer Irfan Qadir, who submitted documents before the court during the hearing.

Later, the Chief Justice adjourned hearing of the case till Monday saying that hearing of the case will now be held in Islamabad. Also, the Supreme Court (SC) directed Hamza Shehbaz on Saturday to work as a trustee chief minister till Monday, July 25. The court observed that Hamza Shehbaz could exercise limited powers as per the law and Constitution.

The three-member bench passed the orders on a petition filed by Chaudhry Parvez Elahi while hearing the matter at Supreme Court Lahore Registry here. During the proceedings, Advocate Irfan Qadir appeared on behalf of the deputy speaker and sought time for filing a detailed reply in the matter.

 

The chief justice observed that it was a serious matter and the court wanted to decide it as early as possible, adding that one day’s time could be granted.

At this stage, Elahi’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar pleaded with the court to restrain Hamza Shehbaz from forming the cabinet and fix the matter for hearing on Sunday.

However, the bench observed that Hamza could maintain a small cabinet and noted that if the arguments were not concluded on Sunday, then the matter would have to be heard on Monday.

Subsequently, the bench adjourned further hearing till Monday and observed that it would be heard at Supreme Court, Islamabad.

Earlier, the bench had summoned Punjab Assembly Deputy speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in personal capacity, along with the relevant record, at 2:30 pm and issued notices to the respondents after hearing initial arguments of the counsel for petitioner Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, in the morning.

In his arguments, Barrister Ali Zafar submitted that the elections for the slot of chief minister Punjab were held on July 22, as per directions of the apex court. He submitted that Chaudhry Parvez Elahi got 186 votes whereas Hamza Shehbaz secured 179 votes.

However, the deputy speaker rejected 10 votes of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), cast in favour of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, after ruling that PML-Q members’ votes were not counted in the light of party head Chaudhry Shujat Hussain’s letter, he added.

Three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial takes up Parvez Elahi’s petition against Deputy Speaker’s ruling on Punjab CM election n CJP says ‘prima facie’ deputy speaker’s ruling is against apex court’s verdict n Court wants to decide the matter as early as possible: CJP n Dost Mohammad Mazari skips court hearing

He submitted that the deputy speaker declared Hamza Shehbaz as the returned candidate who secured 179 votes. He submitted that the deputy speaker’s ruling was not only illegal but also unconstitutional. He pleaded with the court to set aside the ruling for being unconstitutional.

Separately, the bench also issued notices to Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf, Advocate General of Punjab Shahzad Shaukat and the Punjab chief secretary.

Separately, at one point during the hearing, Justice Bandial remarked that prima facie, the deputy speaker’s ruling was against the apex court’s verdict in the Article 63-A reference.

Subsequently, Mazari’s lawyer Irfan Qadir, who appeared before the court after the deputy speaker failed to show up, asked for more time and said he wanted to submit a written response. The court granted him time till the next hearing on Monday.