SC turns down Punjab deputy speaker’s ruling in CM election case

SC turns down Punjab deputy speaker's ruling in CM election case

ISLAMABAD, Jul 26 (APP): The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down the ruling of Punjab Assembly deputy speaker in the chief minister’s re-election case.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar announced the decision, which was reserved earlier today.

According to the verdict, Chaudhary Pervez Elahi would now take over the position of chief minister as Hamza Shehbaz lost his status of trustee chief minister.

The court, in its short order, also declared all the appointments made by Hamza Shehbaz as illegal and directed his cabinet members to vacate their offices.

The 11-page order authored by the CJP stated: “The office shall immediately communicate/ transmit a copy of this order to the Governor Punjab, Deputy Speaker, Provincial Assembly of Punjab, Lahore as well as Chief Secretary, Punjab for implementation and compliance of the same.

“All acts, deeds and things lawfully done or purported to be done by Deputy Speaker and or any Member of the Provincial Cabinet in accordance with the Constitution and the law under colour of office are hereby saved and protected under the de facto doctrine subject to all just and legal exceptions and such review, modification,

reversal or withdrawal as may be deemed appropriate by the incoming Chief Minister, Punjab and any member of the Cabinet or other officer appointed by him in accordance with law.”

The court further directed the Punjab governor to arrange and administer oath of office to the petitioner as the duly elected chief minister of Punjab in accordance with law and the Constitution not later than 11:30 pm tonight.

“In case, the Governor, Punjab was unable or unwilling to administer such oath, the President of Pakistan may forthwith administer oath of office to the petitioner as Chief Minister, Punjab.”

It further stated,”All Advisors, Special Advisors and Special Assistants by whatever name called appointed by, on behalf or under orders/advice of Respondent No 2 would immediately and forthwith cease to hold office,

their appointment is declared illegal and without lawful authority and the respondent No.2, the persons appointed as Minsters on his advice and the aforementioned persons are relieved of their offices/posts with immediate effect.”

The order further read, “In consequence of the foregoing, it is declared that Respondent No.2 not being the duly elected Chief Minister, the oath of office administered to him was and is without lawful authority and of no legal effect.

Likewise all acts, deeds and things attendant and consequent upon such oath including but not limited to the notification of Respondent No.2 and the formation and swearing in of the Cabinet on his advice is also declared to be without lawful authority and of no legal effect.

“We direct the Chief Secretary, Punjab (Respondent No.3) to immediately and forthwith and on announcement of this short order issue the requisite notification declaring the petitioner as the duly elected Chief Minister, Punjab.

“In consequence of the above, having admittedly secured 186 votes as against 179 votes obtained by Mr.Hamza Shehbaz Sharif (Respondent No.2) in the runoff election of Chief Minister, Punjab held on 22.07.2022 pursuant to the consent order of this Court dated 01.07.2022 passed in Civil Petition No.2242 of 2022, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi (the petitioner) is declared as the duly elected Chief Minister, Punjab.

“In view of the foregoing and for detailed reasons to be recorded later and such elaboration and amplification as may be necessary, the titled constitutional petition is allowed.

The sole question of public importance with reference to enforcement of fundamental rights involved in this petition is whether the understanding and implementation of the short judgment of this Court dated 17.05.2022 passed in Presidential Reference No.1 of 2022 read with Article 63A(1)(b) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 (“the Constitution”) was correct.

We find that the understanding and implementation of the said short judgment as well as the provisions of Article 63A(1)(b) of the Constitution by the Deputy Speaker, Provincial Assembly of Punjab, Lahore (Respondent No.1) was patently incorrect and erroneous and cannot be sustained.

The governance of the Province of Punjab in accordance with the Constitution has been subverted whereby the fundamental rights of the people have been seriously infringed.

As a result, the Ruling dated 22.07.2022 issued by Respondent No.1, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Assembly is set aside and declared to be void, without lawful authority and of no legal effect.”