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LHC to hear point of view of President, Punjab governor against single benches’ verdicts

A Lahore High Court larger bench on Tuesday decided to hear the point of view of the president of Pakistan and governor of Punjab in appeals of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) against the decisions of two different single benches regarding oath taking of Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz.

The bench headed by Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan asked the counsel of the PTI to amend the appeals and add the president and the governor in the list of the respondents.

Earlier, advocates Imtiaz Rasheed Siddiqui and Azhar Siddique continued their arguments against the impugned decisions by the single benches.

They argued that the court had no jurisdiction to issue directions to the president and the governor. They said the order issued to the speaker of the national assembly to administer oath to the chief minister was also beyond the jurisdiction of the court.

They said the appellants had not been given an opportunity of hearing by the court while issuing the impugned orders.

The bench would resume further hearing on Wednesday.

A single bench comprising Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti also adjourned petitions of PTI and PML-Q against the election of Hamza Shehbaz as the chief minister.

Earlier, Barrister Syed Ali Zafar continued his arguments on behalf of the PML-Q saying under Article 130(4) of the Constitution a chief minister who did not have the majority of the votes of MPAs, was a ‘usurper’ and could not continue with the office.

He argued that the judgement of the Supreme Court in which it was declared that the votes of the defectors could not be counted shall apply retrospectively to the election of the chief minister held on April 16.

The counsel submitted that the legislature was to make the laws and the courts had the exclusive jurisdiction to interpret the laws. “Once the Supreme Court interprets a constitutional provision or a law, it does not make new law but rather declares what the law is,” he added.

He said the Supreme Court in a number of judgements including Malik Asad case held that its judgement interpreting a law applies retrospectively from the date the law was made and applies to all events, whether the cause of action occurred before the interpretation of the law or after it.

Barrister Zafar argued that the apex court interpreted that under Article 63-A the votes of the defectors were not to be counted. He said the article 63-A had been part of the Constitution since April 19, 2010 and the elections of the CM Punjab was held on April 16, 2022 when Article 63-A, as interpreted by the SC, was in place.

He argued that if the SC wanted to make the judgement applicable prospectively then it had to specifically and expressly state in its order.

Courtesy Bol News

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