April 11th, 2022 

By Rehan Piracha


The Lahore High Court on Monday allowed Punjab Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari access to his chambers in the provincial assembly building.The court directed that the LHC registrar would accompany the provincial assembly secretary and Mazari to reopen his office. Chief Justice Ameer Bhatti was hearing petitions by PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz and Dost Mazari relating to the election of the new provincial chief minister scheduled for April 16.
The court stopped short of appointing Mazari the presiding officer of the assembly session which is to elect the new chief minister, saying the matter would be decided in the hearing tomorrow, April 12. Punjab Speaker and PML-Q leader Pervaiz Elahi and Hamza Shehbaz are candidates for the new chief minister.Chief Justice Lahore High Court Justice Ameer Bhatti held a lengthy hearing on the petitions of Hamza Shahbaz and Dost Mazari.
Mazari’s counsel said his client had been barred from exercising the powers of his office while he was also denied entry to his chamber. The counsel said Mazari had acted in accordance with the law by trying to reconvene the assembly session on April 6 after earlier adjourning it to April 16. However, the assembly staff refused to carry out his orders and also barred him from entering his office and assembly building. but his office has been closed.

The provincial advocate general said the assembly session was adjourned after vandalism by opposition members on April 3. However, the chief justice observed that vandalism or law and order situation could not lead to adjourning sessions for a long time. The chief justice said any assembly member would face action for defection upon casting vote and not earlier.
At the onset of the hearing, the chief justice gave an opportunity to the parties to arrive on a consensus for pushing backdate of assembly session from April 16. The court adjourned hearing till 2pm. However, Barrister Ali Zafar, the counsel for Punjab Speaker, said it was not possible to hold election earlier than April 16.

Azam Nazeer Tarar, counsel for Hamza Shehbaz, told the court that he had offered to hold elections by April 13 but it was not agreed upon.

The court adjourned hearing of the petitions till Tuesday (April 12).


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