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LAHORE: Justice Fawad Hassan of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday asked the Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan to administer oath to newly elected Chief Minister of Punjab Hamza Shehbaz on April 30 (today) at 11:30 A.M. at Lahore.

The court also directed the office to transmit the court order through fax immediately for its implementation in letter and spirit.

The court observed that while passing the judgments, this court has enunciated the principles of law having binding effect under Article 201 of the Constitution which have been disregarded not only by the President of Pakistan but also by the Governor of Punjab, causing non-fulfilment of his constitutional duty thereby violating Article 5 read with Article 189 and 201 of the Constitution.

The court observed, “It is the duty of the court to protect fundamental rights provided and guaranteed under the Constitution.”

The court said the constitution empowered this court to issue any appropriate directions for the enforcement of fundamental rights.

Oath to Punjab CM-elect: LHC approached against single bench’s decision

Justice Fawad observed that the decisions of this court despite having binding effect have been ignored deliberately by the President of Pakistan, as well as, Governor of the Punjab.

The Governor through his conduct has also himself made impracticable for the oath to be made before him, the court added.

The court further observed that the Governor of Punjab has failed to exercise his powers and to perform his duties by avoiding the administration of oath to the newly elected Chief Minister, thereby violating the clear advice of this court to either administer the oath himself or through his nominee.

The court had already asked the President of Pakistan and Governor Punjab twice to act in accordance with the constitution and sworn in the petitioner Hamza Shahbaz as Chief Minister Punjab.

The respondent Governor Punjab ignored the court orders and did not administered oath to the petitioner Hamza Shahbaz as Chief Minister Punjab.

The petitioner approached the court again for implement of its orders in letter and spirit.

He also prayed to the court to fix time of oath taking and also nominate any person for oath taking if the respondents again ignore the court orders.

Earlier, registrar office had fixed the petition before Justice Faisal Zaman Khan who had refused to hear the petition. The officer therefore fixed the petition before Justice Fawad Hassan.

Justice Fawad proceeding with the petition said how he could proceed with the petition after the court time was over.

The counsel of Hamza Shahbaz, however, said the court could proceed with the petition due to the urgency of the matter.

Justice Fawad said he had to read the petition and hence it was difficult for him to proceed with it.

The counsel of Hamza said Chief Justice had asked the Governor Punjab to complete the process of oath taking by April 28 but the respondent Governor did not implement the court orders.

He said the Chief Justice had also asked the President and the Governor to proceed in accordance with the law and sworn in the petitioner Hamza Shahbaz as Chief Minister Punjab but both the respondent did not act upon the court orders.

He said Supreme Court of Pakistan had convicted a premier and he had to leave his office.

He said respondents not only violating the court orders but also violating the constitution.

Justice Fawad asked the petitioner’s counsel as to why he did not approach the court in contempt of court.

He said his client had asked him to file a petition for matter of oath taking only.

He said the province of Punjab is running without the elected representative but respondent neither, acted in accordance with the constitution nor acted on the court orders.

He; therefore, prayed to the court to fix the day and the time for oath taking of the Chief Minister elect and direct the respondent Governor to sworn in the petition as Chief Minister Punjab.

He also prayed to the court to nominate any person for concluding the oath taking ceremony of the petitioner if the respondents do not act on the court order.

The court after hearing the petitioner’s counsel at length said in the light of directions/ suggestions given by this court in the judgments and the law laid down by the Supreme Court of Pakistan which are binding on the courts under Article 189 of the Constitution, this petition is allowed and the respondent is directed to convey the Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan to administer oath to newly elected Chief Minister of Punjab on April 30 (today) at 11:30 A.M. at Lahore.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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