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HomeNationalPML-N to move SC against Parvez Elahi's reinstatement

PML-N to move SC against Parvez Elahi’s reinstatement

Saad Rafique says decision doesn't meet requirements of justice  

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has reportedly decided to approach the Supreme Court in a bid to challenge the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) verdict reinstating Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi.

A day earlier, the LHC had restored the provincial cabinet and Elahi as the chief minister after he assured the court that he would not dissolve the Punjab Assembly once he regains control of the office. The development came after the party’s members of the Punjab Assembly met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at his residence in Lahore.

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The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) Tariq Basheer Cheema was also present in the high-level meeting where the decision to challenge Elahi’s reinstatement was made.

According to reports, the PML-N’s counsels also prepared a draft of the petition to be submitted to the apex court against the LHC order.

Earlier in the day, the federal government urged the country’s top court to take notice of the ongoing turmoil in Punjab, stating that the LHC’s decision “does not fit legal parameters”.

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Federal ministers Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Sanaullah, and Tariq Bashir Cheema had earlier in the day requested the apex court to take suo motu notice of Punjab’s deteriorating political situation, including the chief minister’s reinstatement.

Before reinstating Elahi, the LHC sought an undertaking from him against the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly to lessen the ongoing political turmoil in the province.

A five-member bench – headed by Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh and including Justice Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal, Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh, Justice Asim Hafeez and Justice Muzamil Akhtar Shabir – heard the case.

Following the PML-Q leader’s assurance, the court reinstated him as the chief minister and also issued notices to all parties to the case, summoning them on January 11.

The court suspended Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman’s order till the next hearing and also did not make it compulsory for the CM to take a vote of confidence on his orders.

The Punjab chief minister was de-notified by the governor in the wee hours of December 23 after he failed to take a vote of confidence despite the passage of several hours.

Despite submitting assurance to the LHC, Elahi insisted on dissolving the provincial legislature in line with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s directives.

Meanwhile, the federal government demanded a suo motu notice from the SC, requesting that the incumbent provincial government should be limited to the powers of carrying out day-to-day affairs only.

The remarks were made during a press conference held at the party secretariat in Model Town by Minister for Aviation and Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique along with Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, PML-N leader Attaullah Tarar and Tariq Bashir Cheema.

Saad Rafique stated that the LHC’s decision to reinstate Elahi does not meet the requirements of justice, adding that there are ‘flaws’ in it.

The minister added that the court has given 18 days during which there is “fear of horse-trading”.

He said Elahi would have to take the vote of confidence, adding that if he skips the vote then it would mean that the incumbent Punjab government did not have the majority in the House. “The present Punjab government is not an elected government but only based on a stay order,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Sanaullah said that assemblies were constitutional institutions and should be respected and not “turned into a joke”.

“If the assemblies are being dissolved due to someone’s stubbornness and ego, it is the duty of the governor to at least ask for a vote of confidence,” he said.

Requesting the apex court to review the decision and take suo motu notice, the minister said that it was likely that the LHC’s decision to reinstate Elahi would create legal, constitutional, and economic complications, which would seriously affect the province. “As there is an apprehension of horse-trading, the court should have allowed only day-to-day matters under Article 133 in interim relief,” he added.

Sanaullah also said that the current Punjab government did not have enough numbers and would not be able to take the vote of confidence.

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