LHC asks whether Punjab’s crisis is over now that Elahi’s ‘floor test’ is complete

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The Lahore High Court (LHC) asked connected Thursday if the situation successful Punjab was implicit now, fixed that Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi had “completed the level test” successful the provincial assembly connected orders of Governor Balighur Rehman.

A larger seat — which is proceeding a petition filed by the CM challenging Rehman’s bid to de-notify him arsenic the province’s main enforcement — inquired this hours aft Elahi, successful a late-night chaotic Punjab Assembly league connected Thursday, managed to unafraid the assurance of 186 members.

Last month, the Punjab politician denotified Elahi arsenic the main curate of the largest state successful a bid to forestall ousted premier Imran Khan’s program to dissolve the Punjab Assembly.

In his bid dated Dec 22, the politician had said that since the main curate had refrained from taking a ballot of assurance astatine the appo­i­nted time and time, helium ceased to clasp office. Rehman, however, had asked Elahi to proceed moving arsenic main curate until a successor takes charge.

Subsequently, Elahi approached the court, saying the determination was “unconstitutional, unlawful and of nary ineligible effect”.

On Thursday, the tribunal had remarked that a main curate should person perpetual enactment from the bulk of lawmakers successful the location and had allowed Elahi to stay CM for 1 much day.

As the proceeding began today, the lawyer general, successful his response, requested the tribunal to see the grounds of votes successful the arguments. “The politician volition not person immoderate objections to it,” helium said.

Here, Justice Abid Aziz Shaikh asked: “What bash you person to accidental astir Elahi taking the ballot of confidence?”

Justice Asim Hafeez besides inquired what the concern would beryllium if the politician issued different notification.

“There would beryllium nary request for that aft the assembly level [proved it was successful Elahi’s favour],” the AG replied.

“The level trial has been completed […] does this means that the substance has been resolved now,” Justice Shaikh inquired.

For his part, Elahi’s lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar said that his counsel had met the governor’s archetypal order: to instrumentality a spot vote. “His 2nd notification regarding the de-notification should present beryllium annulled.”

To that, Justice Hafeez maintained that Elahi had taken a ballot of assurance nether Article 137 of the Constitution.

The instrumentality states: “In immoderate substance with respect to which some Parliament and the Provincial Assembly person the powerfulness to marque laws, the enforcement authorization of the Province shall beryllium taxable to, and constricted by, the enforcement authorization expressly conferred by the Constitution oregon by instrumentality made by 2 [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] upon the Federal Government oregon authorities thereof.”

“Had Elahi taken the ballot of assurance voluntarily, the concern would person been different,” the justice stated, adding that “prima facie, Elahi has taken the ballot of assurance connected orders of the governor”.

Elahi’s petition

The petition, filed by Elahi, a transcript of which is disposable with Dawn.com, named the Punjab politician done his main secretary, the authorities of Punjab done its main caput and the PA talker arsenic respondents.

The exertion was submitted done Barrister Ali Zafar and Advocate Amir Saeed.

It said that connected December 19, Governor Rehman issued an bid summoning a PA league and requiring the main curate to question a ballot of assurance from the house.

“In effect to the order, the PA talker gave a ruling declaring the summoning of the league to beryllium unconstitutional and adjourned the ongoing league till Dec 22.”

The petition stated that some of Rehman’s bid — for the ballot of assurance and the de-notification — was passed “without lawful authorization and are of nary ineligible effect”.

It reasoned that the governor’s bid regarding summoning a PA league was amerciable nether the Constitution and Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab 1997.

“Without prejudice to the unconstitutionality of Respondent 1’s [the governor] enactment of summoning the league of Punjab Assembly during an already ongoing session, it is respectfully submitted that the politician neither the appointing authorization of the petitioner nor has the powerfulness to region the petitioner, and determination is nary law proviso enabling the Respondent No. 1 to walk the impugned bid dated 22.12.2022 and declaring that the Petitioner ceases to clasp his bureau of Chief Minister Punjab.”

The petition went connected to accidental that Rehman’s bid was “not sustainable due to the fact that it has been passed owed to sedate misconstruction of the facts”.

It besides highlighted that the de-notification bid was “not sustainable arsenic the solution of ballot of nary assurance moved by the 20 percentum is pending earlier the Provincial Assembly, and the impugned bid would marque the solution in-fructuous which would undermine the close of members of the Provincial Assembly regarding the ballot of nary assurance against the petitioner/Chief Minister”.

Subsequently, the petition prayed that the Punjab governor’s orders issued connected Dec 19 and Dec 22 should beryllium declared to beryllium passed without immoderate lawful authorization and of nary ineligible effect.

“It is further prayed that it whitethorn kindly beryllium declared that the summoning of the league of the Punjab Assembly by the politician during an already ongoing league is unconstitutional, unlawful and of nary ineligible effect,” it requested.

The petition pleads that the tribunal should state that determination was nary eventuality which pb to the decision that Elahi did not bid the bulk of the members of the provincial assembly.

“It is further prayed that it whitethorn kindly beryllium declared that the Petitioner does not cease to clasp his bureau of Chief Minister Punjab,” it stated, adding that the dissolution of the provincial furniture should besides beryllium declared unlawful.

Crisis successful Punjab

After Imran’s announcement of the assemblies’ dissolution, the conjugation leaders sprung into enactment to forestall Elahi from dissolving the Punjab Assembly.

In a double-edged determination connected Dec 20, the Punjab politician asked the main curate to get a ballot of assurance from the Punjab Assembly, portion PML-N and PPP lawmakers submitted a abstracted no-trust solution against him successful a bid to barroom him from dissolving the assembly.

However, Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan termed the governor’s orders arsenic “illegal, against the provisions of the Constitution and frankincense basal disposed of”.

In his two-page ruling, the talker maintained that the governor’s orders were not successful accordance with Article 54(3) and Article 127. “The location is successful league since Oct 23, 2022, and nether Articles 54(3) and 127. No caller league tin beryllium convened unless and until the existent 1 ends,” the bid read.

Subsequently, connected Dec 21, the Punjab politician termed the speaker’s ruling “unconstitutional”.

In his order, the politician said nether Article 130(7) of the Constitution that PA speaker’s ruling had nary bearing connected his bid and termed it unconstitutional. The politician said the speaker’s ruling was besides successful usurpation of Rule 209 of the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, 1997.

Lawyers reached by Dawn for their comments differed connected the governor’s orders issued to the main minister, they were unanimous that a ineligible conflict appears to beryllium the lone mode guardant for the solution of the existent situation successful Punjab.

In a late-night determination connected Dec 23, the politician de-notified Elahi. In an order, helium said: “Consequent to the facts that Ch. Parvez Elahi … refrained from obtaining the ballot of assurance astatine 1600 hours yesterday (Wednesday), successful enactment with an bid nether Article 130(7) of the Constitution … issued nether my manus connected Dec 19, 2022, successful enactment with Rule 22(7) of the Rules of Procedure of provincial assembly of Punjab, 1997, and that helium inactive has not done truthful adjacent aft the lapse of different 24 hours, I americium satisfied that helium does not bid the assurance of the bulk of the members of the Punjab Assembly, and truthful ceases to clasp his bureau with contiguous effect.”

As a result, “the provincial furniture stands dissolved forthwith”, helium said.

In presumption of Article 133 of the Constitution, Elahi, “former Punjab CM, is hereby asked to proceed to clasp bureau until his successor enters upon the bureau of the main minister”, the politician said.

However, successful the aboriginal hours of Jan 12, a ballot of assurance was held successful the PA successful which Elahi managed to unafraid 186 votes.

Two PTI MPAs, Amer Chandia from Rahim Yar Khan and Ammar Yasir from Chakwal, were transported to Lahore precocious connected Wednesday night, enabling the ruling conjugation to someway interaction the magical fig of 186.

On the different hand, the absorption boycotted the voting process alleging the talker did not let them to name polling agents for a ‘fair count’ of those who were voting for Elahi.

Source Dawn