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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court directed Pervaiz Elahi’s counsel to file specific documents to substantiate contempt against Rana Sanaullah and Marriyum Aurangzeb.

A two-member judge bench, comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar, on Thursday, heard the petition of Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi, who is also contesting for the chief minister of Punjab.

Faisal Fareed, lawyer Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader, was also asked to file the better copy of the PTI MPAs affidavits, which they have submitted before the apex court that the PML-N leaders had been threatening them.

During the proceedings, Justice Ijaz observed that the petition had been filed against the Supreme Court order, wherein, the directions issued to Hamza Shehbaz Sharif and his cabinet members not to take unconstitutional and illegal steps in the by-election. He also noted that the directions in the SC’s order were for Hamza and his cabinet members and not for the respondents. He said the court take action on an act which has been committed in the violation of the SC’s order and not the anticipated act.

Justice Ijaz asked the counsel to show something that specifically says that the apex court’s order is violated. He said they were hearing a contempt petition against the SC’s order, adding the petitioner did not file the contempt application against PML-N MPA Rahila and Punjab Law Minister Ata Ullah Tarar.

Faisal, earlier, told the bench that the PML-N MPA, Rahila, and Punjab Law Minister Ata Tarar last night called three PTI MPAs and threatened them. When Justice Muneeb Akhtar inquired when they had called them, give us the exact date. Faisal first said day before yesterday, but later on said no yesterday. He also failed to satisfy when the PTI MPAs prepared affidavits, which the counsel submitted before the bench. Justice Ijaz asked him neither you have any specific documents nor aware of the dates of the affidavits.

At the onset of the hearing, the counsel read the transcript of the press conference, jointly addressed by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb on July 18 and the transcript of Geo TV programme where Rana Sanaullah had also talked about the upcoming Punjab CM’s election.

Sanaullah on July 18 in a press conference alongside Aurangzeb had said: “We will not let Elahi become the CM easily.” “If five to seven PTI lawmakers don’t come to the assembly on the voting day (July 22), how will the PTI have its chief minister?” he had asked.

He contended that they had violated the Supreme Court order for holding “run-off polls” for the office of the Punjab CM on July 22 and during the interregnum period, “Hamza Shehbaz remained within the confines of the Constitution and the law without incidence of harassment of political opponents or witch-hunt”.

Speaker Punjab Assembly in its petition maintained that after the PTI’s victory in the by-election on the Punjab Assembly seats, which became vacant as 25 PTI MPAs defected the party.

He submitted that the PTI won 15 seats out of 20 in the July 17 by-election. It urged the SC to summon the alleged contemnor and award punishment to them for violating the court directions. In pursuant to the SC order, he claimed, preparation for the Punjab CM election was under way without any hurdle and he was determined to hold the election and business of assembly in a peaceful, just, transparent manner in accordance with the constitution and the law strictly as well as in accordance with letter and spirit of the court order.

However, he alleged, the respondents after losing the majority in the Punjab Assembly became unnerved and were showing extreme anger and frustration. He further alleged the respondents while acting in a reckless, unconstitutional, and unlawful manner have threatened to “remove members” belonging to the PTI and its allies by blatantly flouting the court directions.

According to the petition, the statement of interior minister Rana Sanaullah “abuses, interferes with and obstructs the process” of the court, as the same was to be considered an obstruction to the implementation of the court’s order and it amounted to creating a constitutional vacuum, anomaly or complication, and would keep the citizens of Punjab deprived of due representation and governance.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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