LHC orders gov to take Hamza oath as CM before April 28

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The Lahore High Court on Wednesday instructed Punjab Governor Omar Sarfaraz Cheema to “ensure the completion of the process” of administering oath to Chief Minister-elect Hamza Shehbaz, either himself or through a nominee, “on or before” April 28 (Friday).

The decision was announced in an open court on a petition filed by Hamza seeking the court’s direction to the Senate chairman to administer oath to him. In a three-page verdict, Justice Ameer Bhatti ruled that all provisions of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, suggested prompt formation of governments, both federal and provincial. “For that matter, expeditious administration of oath either by President or by Governor or their nominee, as the case may be, is mandatory,” he said, pointing out that there was no “vacuum” or “space” in the Constitution to delay the administration of oath. Justice Bhatti underscored that Punjab was being operated without a functional government for the last 25 days. since the acceptance of former Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s resignation. “On the other hand, the oath of the newly elected Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr. Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif is being delayed.