Punjab Gov declares PA Speaker’s ruling ‘unconstitutional’

Baligh ur Rehman

Elahi’s vote of confidence

Time passed for Parvez to become CM of PDM: Sandhu

Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman declared on Wednesday the ruling of Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan regarding Chief Minister Pervez Elahi’s vote of confidence as “unconstitutional” and “illegal”.

On December 19, the governor had instructed the chief minister to obtain a vote of confidence from the provincial assembly by 4pm Wednesday.

However, on Tuesday, Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan had termed the governor’s orders as “illegal, against the provisions of the Constitution and thus stand disposed of”.

In his two-page ruling, the speaker maintained that the governor’s orders were not in accordance with Article 54(3) and Article 127. “The house is in session since Oct 23, 2022, and under Article 54(3) and 127. No fresh session can be convened unless and until the current one ends,” the order read.

In response to the speaker’s ruling, the governor said that it held “no bearing”. Rehman addressed two main concerns raised in Khan’s ruling, which had said that the governor could not summon a fresh assembly session until the current session was prorogued and that there was a minimum mandatory 10-day period for the chief minister to obtain a confidence vote.

Regarding the first concern, the governor said he had implied in his Dec 19 order that “if the ongoing session was prorogued by your good self (PA speaker)” any time before 4pm today then “a new session was required to be summoned” at 4pm today for the vote of confidence.

“In the alternate, a sitting of the assembly at the noted time and date could have been summoned in the 41st session of the assembly, which your good self has also noted that it was summoned by me and was never prorogued; or a fresh session specifically summoned for the purposes of requiring the chief minister to obtain the vote of confidence,” the order reads.

Pakistan Muslim League-N Chief Whip in the Punjab Assembly Tahir Khalil Sandhu said on Wednesday that time had passed for Pervez Elahi to become chief minister of the PDM.

Talking to the media outside the assembly premises here, he said the government had right to call army and Rangers in case Pervez did not leave the charge of chief minister under Article-245 of the constitution.

He said that the chief minister should have won the confidence of the assembly on Wednesday and the government members of the assembly should have come to the assembly for vote of confidence.

He said the Governor had right to ask the chief minister, whenever the governor felt need of it, and the Punjab Governor had asked the chief minister for taking vote of confidence from the assembly.

Sandhu said that at first the chief minister would be de-notified if he failed to win trust of the house and then new chief minister would be elected.—APP