9 January 2023

By Rehan Piracha


The Lahore High Court on Wednesday extended interim relief of reinstating Pervaiz Elahi as Punjab chief minister till Thursday when it will resume hearing his petition challenging the Governor’s order to denotify him from his office. The court ordered that Elahi would continue with his earlier undertaking of not dissolving the assembly in the period.

A five-member full bench, headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh, listened to the arguments from Elahi’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar on the legality of the notification to de-notify the provincial chief minister.  Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, Justice Asim Hafeez and Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabir are the other members of the bench.

Justice Asim Hafeez remarked that it was compulsory for a chief minister to have round-the-clock support from a majority of lawmakers in the house. Zafar contended that the governor did not provide suitable reasons for the trust vote, adding that his client would have had no problem with the vote if a “legal and constitutional procedure” was adopted. “A notification was issued at night and the chief minister asked to take a vote of confidence the next day,” he said, adding there should be proper reasons for the vote of confidence.

Barrister Ali Zafar pointed out that the ruling of the Speaker Assembly of not conducting an assembly session for the trust vote sought by the governor was not challenged in court.

At the outset of the hearing, the counsels for the CM and governor told the court that they had failed to reach a consensus on the duration of the period required to seek a trust vote. The lawyer of Governor Punjab offered that the issue would be resolved if Elahi secures a vote of confidence from assembly members. Elahi’s counsel contended that he wanted to give his arguments on the merits of the denotification orders.






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