- Penalty imposed due to non-submission of response on petitions challenging his election as CM
The Lahore High Court imposed on Wednesday a Rs100,000 fine on Hamza Shehbaz after he failed to submit any response on petitions challenging his election as Punjab chief minister.
The government of Punjab and Deputy Speaker of the province Dost Mohammad Mazari have also been fined Rs100,000 each due to the same reason, reported Aaj News.
The petitions, filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), stated that the session held for conducting the election witnessed "immense chaos and most unfortunate events".
It pointed out that Deputy Speaker Mazari took "unlawful" aid from the police and provincial officials for holding a "sham and fraudulent" election. It noted that votes of 25 dissident PTI MPAs were also counted in the final tally for Hamza. These MPAs have since been de-seated by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The Punjab Assembly session for the CM election began after a delay of more than five hours and saw Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari attacked, while PML-Q leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi was injured.
Once the session got underway, PTI and PML-Q lawmakers staged a walkout, following which the deputy speaker initiated the proceedings for voting on the chief minister’s election.
The PTI also submitted a separate petition against Punjab chief minister and IG Punjab for contempt of court. On the occasion, PTI member Hammad Azhar stated that National Assembly members were being harassed and arrested despite court’s directions against such measures.
On April 17, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz was elected the chief minister of Punjab. Hamza bagged 197 votes while rival Pervez Elahi got just a single vote.
Ahead of the vote, three PTI members of the Punjab Assembly were arrested for attacking Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari.
However, Governor Punjab Omar Sarfraz Cheema refused to administer oath to Hamza until it was clear that the election was conducted as per the Constitution and the directives of the Lahore High Court.
Hamza approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) multiple times to challenge the delay in him being sworn in as the chief minister of Punjab. The LHC issued a verdict in Hamza’s favour but Cheema still delayed the swearing-in.
Finally on April 30, Hamza took oath as Punjab Chief Minister at a ceremony held at the Governor House, putting an end to a long stretch of uncertainty over leadership in the province.