SC Rejects Plea For Formation Of Full Court For Hearing Of Punjab CM's Run-off Election


SC rejects plea for formation of full court for hearing of Punjab CM's run-off election

The lawyers of both sides reach the top court, file their petitions and present arguments.

ISLAMABAD: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-July 25th, 2022) The Supreme Court on Monday turned down the government’s petition of PML-N and others seeking formation of a full court bench to hear the case of the Punjab chief minister’s election.

A Sthree-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar announced the verdict reserved earlier after hearing arguments of both sides.

The top court had earlier made PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz as trustee Punjab Chief Minister till Monday (today).

AS the hearing commenced, the lawyers from both sides appeared before the court. Former Presidents of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) were present there. Advocate Latif Afridi came to the rostrum and pleaded to the court on behalf of lawyers’ bodies, and submitted that the system was under threat as it was facing many challenges.

Afridi argued that the review petition in the Article 63(A) case should be fixed before a full court, pointing out that the political crisis in the country was deepening over time.

At this, CJP Bandial remarked that he was honored that the former SCBA chief had put the matter before him, observed that the court would take a decision after hearing all parties in the case.

CJP Bandial said that he did not want to issue a one-side order and neither would he arrive at a decision under the advice of 10 former presidents.

The CJP observed that they wanted to hear the other side as well. On it, Afridi said that a full bench should be constituted and the available judges should be included.

Advocate Farooq H. Naek, the PPP leader, appeared before the top court and said that he had requested to become a party in the case at which the CJP told him that let the initial matters be wrapped up first.

While addressing Naek, the CJP remarked, “We will hear you, but let the proceedings move in line with the order. Be seated so his chair would not be occupied by anyone else.

On it, Naek said, “Seats come and go,”.

The CJP also remarked that pressure should not be put on the bench.

On it, incumbent SCBA President Ahsan Bhoon he could not imagine pressuring the court but noted that the review petition on Article 63A should be heard.

“What's the hurry Bhoon sahab, let us hear this case first,” CJP said.

However, Barrister Ali Zafar who appeared on behalf of Pervez Elahi argued that he also remained the president of the bar. "The bar presidents should not be involved in such matters."

Irfan Qadir who was there to represent Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari also came to the rostrum and said that since there were several confusions over the matter, a full court should hear the case.

On it, Advocate Qadir read the court’s order issued on July 23.

At this, the CJP asked the lawyer that how the deputy speaker arrived at the conclusion that the court's order on Article 63 (A) gives the impression that it speaks about the party head.

The CJP remarked that this question is for him [Qadir] and that is why a special bench was formed.

The bench asked that what happened when the party head and the parliamentary party’s decisions differed.

On it, Qadir said that it was not his duty to define what questions took place as it was the court’s task.

At this, the CJP asked him to read Article 63 (A).

The CJP also observed that the article mentioned the party head and the parliamentary party.

"I am extremely confused as to what the question is here? I cannot understand what's the question?" he asked.

Hamza’s lawyer continued his arguments meanwhile.

Earlier, the entry of all political leaders to the SC was banned for hearing on the case related to the run-off elections of the Punjab CM.

Strict security arrangements were made in and outside the apex court. A police force is stationed outside courtroom number one, while registered beat reporters from the media were allowed to enter courtroom number one.

The parties t to the case, however, were allowed to enter the courtroom one while court proceedings could be heard through speakers in rooms six and seven of the apex court.

Earlier in the day, Punjab CM Hamza moved a plea to the top court to form a full court on the matter.

Hamza through his counsel submitted that the ruling given by Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari on July 22 was valid, while Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain's letter to his lawmakers is in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

The CM asked the court to hear the appeals of the defected members against the ECP.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.