LHC fines CM Hamza, others for not complying with court order

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The Lahore High Court on Wednesday fined Hamza Shehbaz and the Punjab government Rs100,000 each for not submitting their responses on petitions challenging the PML-N leader’s election as the province’s chief minister.

The court had issued notices to Hamza, Punjab chief secretary, Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari, Punjab governor’s principal secretary and Punjab Assembly’s secretary at the previous hearing. Hamza was elected as the Punjab CM on April 16, during a provincial assembly session that was marred by mayhem.

He received a total of 197 votes — 11 more than the required 186 including from 25 dissident PTI MPAs that were crucial for his victory. The PML-N leader faced several delays in assuming charge of the CM Office because of Punjab governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema’s refusal to administer him oath.

Hamza approached the LHC thrice, seeking directions for his oath to be administered. He was finally sworn in on April 30, by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.

During the open court hearing on Wednesday, LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti said that adhering to court orders was mandatory for everyone in every situation and, hence, fined the respondents.

During the proceedings, the additional advocate general and Hamza’s counsel requested the court to grant them time to submit the responses.

Here, PML-Q’s lawyer objected that the matter shouldn’t be delayed any further, contending that Punjab was functioning without a cabinet and the province was undergoing a constitutional crisis.

 

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