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Hamza moves LHC once again for administration of oath

Petitioner makes President, PM and Senate chairman parties to the case through their secretaries

Punjab Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz moved to the Lahore High Court (LHC) once again on Monday, seeking directives from the authorities concerned for the implementation of the court’s order regarding the administration of his oath to him.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader through his counsel made the federal and the provincial governments respondents while the prime minister, president and the Senate chairman were made parties through their respective secretaries.

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The petitioner said that President Arif Alvi is yet to nominate another individual to administer the oath to him (Hamza) as directed by the high court earlier.

He said he had been waiting for his oath for more than a week. He asked the court to direct the authorities concerned for the implementation of the court orders.

PML-N leader Ata Tarar appeared before the court to submit the petition.

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“This is very unfortunate that the office of Punjab CM has been lying vacant since April 1,” said Tarar, pointing out that public offices were not functioning properly, files were stuck and public issues and problems were not being addressed.

“[The] PML-N believes in the supremacy of law and constitution. And therefore, it has sent another letter to the president regarding the oath of newly elected Punjab chief minister,” he added. LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti will hear the petition today (Tuesday).

On April 22, the LHC ruled that Punjab Governor Umar Sarfraz Cheema cannot refuse to administer the oath to Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz and expects that President Arif Alvi will decide the matter in terms of Article 104 by nominating any person to administer the oath without further delay.

Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti was hearing the case and directed his staff to fax a copy of the order to the Presidency. The CJ then disposed of the petition filed by Hamza Shehbaz.

The legal battle started after Sardar Usman Buzdar tendered his resignation as Punjab chief minister on March 28 and his resignation was accepted by the then-governor on April 1.

Following his resignation, the LHC had directed the Punjab Assembly to conduct a vote before April 16 to elect the new chief minister of Pakistan’s second-largest province.

Hamza was elected chief minister in the session marred by severe ruckus and pandemonium before it was boycotted by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).

After his election, the Punjab government refused to administer the oath to Hamza Shahbaz, leading him to approach the court once again.

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