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Pakistan

LHC directs NA Speaker to administer oath to CM-elect Hamza on Saturday

  • LHC's verdict comes after Hamza Shehbaz approached court for the third time
Published April 29, 2022
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The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday directed Speaker of the National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to administer the oath to Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz, moving a step closer to ending the weeks-long political crisis in the province, Aaj News reported.

In the order issued today, Justice Jawad Hassan of the LHC directed Speaker Ashraf to administer the oath to Hamza by tomorrow (Saturday) at 11:30 am.

Earlier, the high court reserved its verdict on a third plea filed by Hamza Shehbaz seeking the administration of oath to him by “a person nominated by the court” owing to the "defiant attitude" of President Arif Alvi and the province's governor, Omar Sarfraz Cheema.

A statement issued by the court said that a verdict would be announced at 7 pm.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Jawad Hassan asked about the order passed by the LHC Chief Justice.

Subsequently, Hamza's counsel, Khalid Ishaq, read the order out loud and told the court that the president and the Punjab governor were blatantly violating the Constitution.

Justice Hassan remarked that no one should have the audacity to flout the court's directives.

“This concerns the respect of the high court and Pakistan's judiciary,” he said.

Hamza Shehbaz moves LHC once again over delay in Punjab CM oath-taking

In his petition, Hamza stated that the LHC's earlier order directing Punjab Governor Omer Sarfaraz Cheema to administer the oath to him or appoint someone else to do so was being violated.

“The governor has once again refused to respect the ruling of the Lahore High Court,” Hamza cited in the petition, which highlighted the federal and Punjab governments. He also urged the court to appoint an official to administer the oath.

On Thursday, Governor Cheema decided against administering the oath to Hamza and filed an intra-court plea against the directives issued to him by the high court.

"I have written to the Punjab advocate general and the Punjab Assembly speaker to seek their opinion on the assembly secretary's report, LHC directions, and other facts to make up my mind whether to hold the oath-taking ceremony at the Governor House or not," Cheema said. In the past, he has said he believes Hamza's election as chief minister was not conducted in accordance with the law.

On Wednesday, the LHC had ordered the Punjab governor to swear in Hamza as chief minister of the province by April 28 or appoint an official to complete the task. During the hearing, the court said the province was being run without a chief minister for 25 days, and delays in administering the oath to the CM-elect was against the constitution.

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