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LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Chief Justice on Thursday directed the Advocate General Punjab to appear on April 22 in a petition of chief minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz challenging delaying in his oath-taking ceremony after seeking instruction from the Punjab Governor.

Earlier, lawyers representing Hamza Shehbaz requested Chief Justice Ameer Bhatti to seek a reply from the governor the same day.

The Chief Justice, however, turned down the request and observed that he could not pass any order without hearing the point of view of the other side. The lawyers reiterated the request saying an additional advocate general was present in the court. They said the biggest province of the country had been without its chief executive for weeks only because of the unconstitutional act of the respondent Governor. The Chief Justice rejected their plea and rose for the day.

The petition said Hamza has been elected as Chief Minister Punjab in a session held on the directions of LHC. It said Governor Umar Sarfraz Cheema has been refusing to adhere to the constitutional command and delaying the oath-taking ceremony of the petitioner.

The petition stated that ironically the incumbent governor had not summoned the petitioner to take oath in sheer disregard of the constitution and constitutional convention.

It said the incumbent governor was a former office-bearer and worker of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaf and he was bent upon creating a constitutional crisis in the province.

It said the illegal and unconstitutional inaction to call upon the chief minister-elect and refusal to administer oath on the basis of some misconceived and unconstitutional figment of imagination was clearly politically motivated and had no nexus with the constitutional role of the governor.

The petition asked the court to order the governor to administer the oath of petitioner as per the prevalent constitutional dispensation without any further delay. It also asked the court to appoint any other person to administer oath to the petitioner as Chief Minister Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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