The Lahore Court has ruled that Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari has the right to preside over the session of the house scheduled to be held on April 16.
In its verdict delivered today on Friday, the LHC directed the deputy speaker to abide by his oath and to ensure conduct of elections for the slot of the chief minister in a fair and transparent manner. The court ordered Mazari to adhere to the constitution and the rules of procedure  without being influenced by any proceedings before this court.
The LHC further directed the deputy speaker to facilitate observers, media persons and other national and international organizations during the session.
The high court was hearing the appeals moved by Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Parvez Elahi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Sibtain Khan against the verdict of a single bench in which the powers of the deputy speaker were restored.
During the proceedings, the bench asked the appellant’s counsel how they were aggrieved by the decision of the single bench as the request of Hamza Shehbaz to pre-pone the election for the Punjab chief minister was turned down.
“The deputy speaker himself filed a writ petition in the court and sought permission for the restoration of his powers and opening of his office,” the appellants’ counsels said and added that the petition was not maintainable and similarly the petition filed by PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz was also not maintainable.
The counsels contended that a no-confidence motion was filed against the deputy speaker. They said after filing of the no-confidence motion, the deputy speaker was not allowed to conduct the proceedings of the house for election of the Punjab chief minister.
The appellants’ counsel argued that the court could not interfere in the internal proceedings of the legislative assembly. However, the bench observed that they wanted to hear Mazari as to why he had filed the appeal.
“We will decide the matter under the law,” observed Justice Jawad Hassan. “We want to hear from the deputy speaker as to why he approached the court for the restoration of his powers,” he added.
The bench summoned the deputy speaker along with his counsel to explain his position and directed the LHC registrar as well as the Punjab advocate general to ensure the presence of the deputy speaker, IGP and the chief secretary.