LAHORE: Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar has demanded of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to constitute a larger bench or full court to hear the case of Punjab chief minister election, as well as the review petition of the Supreme Court Bar Association about Article 63-A interpretation.

Addressing a joint press conference with Punjab Home Minister Attaullah Tarar here on Sunday, he said that political circumstances had reached such a situation that several constitutional issues needed to be resolved.

He said that the president of Pakistan had sent a reference to the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 63-A before voting on no-confidence resolution against the then prime minister Imran Khan, and it was appealed that votes cast against the directions of the party head should not be counted.

The SC did not give stay order and the proceedings of no-confidence were completed, he added.

The law minister said that later, during election of the Punjab chief minister, the split 3-2 judgment was given that the votes cast against the directions of the party leader would not be counted. Therefore, 25 votes cast in favour of Hamza Shehbaz were not counted.

On Friday, in the run-off election for the Punjab chief minister slot, the votes of 10 members of the PML-Q, who had cast their votes against the directions of the party head, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, were not counted, in the light of the apex court verdict. He said that the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker announced the victory of Hamza Shehbaz as the chief minister, in the light of the SC interpretation of Article 63-A. However, the other candidate, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, moved the SC and appealed for counting those votes, he explained.

He said that the Supreme Court Bar and the civil society had demanded that hearing of these cases should be held altogether by the full court.

Tarar said that prominent lawyers including Latif Afridi, Yasin Azad, Fazal Haq Abbas, Qalb-e-Hussain and Ahsan Bhoon had also said that it was a serious and sensitive issue which was taken up by 8-member and 5-member benches earlier; therefore it should in heard by the full court now.

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