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The Supreme Court (SC) has rejected the government’s petition for formation of a full court bench

ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
The Supreme Court (SC) has rejected the government’s petition for formation of a full court bench to hear the case of the Punjab chief minister’s (CM) election.

A three-member apex court bench, comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, heard the plea filed by PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi challenging Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari’s ruling in CM Punjab election.

Pervaiz Elahi secured 186 votes against 179 votes of PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz. However, Mazari had dismissed PML-Q’s 10 votes after party head Chaudhry Shujaat asked them to vote in favour of incumbent chief minister Hamza Shahbaz.

During the hearing today, CJP Umar Ata Bandial said that the court needs more legal clarification on certain things to decide about the formation of full court. The CJP also said that he was unsure whether the decision on the said ruling will be made today.

Mazari’s lawyer, Irfan Qadir said he was instructed to speak regarding the formation of the full court only; therefore, he needed time to take instructions from his client. Separately, Hamza Shahbaz’s counsellor Mansoor Awan also sought time to take instructions for arguments on merit.

Meanwhile, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the apex court wanted to hear the matter of the deputy speaker’s controversial ruling on merit before deciding about forming the full bench.

However, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarrar asserted that there was enough clarification in this regard. He added that if the review petition is approved that there will be no need for a run-off election.

Presenting his arguments, advocate Irfan Qadir added that when allegations are levelled against the judges that similar bench is formed repeatedly then these charges can be rejected by the formation of a full court.

The chief justice pointed out that the case regarding the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was heard by a full court because it was a “constitutional matter”.

“We have sent the prime minister home with five judges at that time you [coalition parties] were celebrating and now you are standing against this,” the chief justice said.

Earlier in the day, the SC had reserved the verdict on the petitions filed by Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shahbaz and other bar associations — seeking the formation of a full court for the hearing of the case.

Last week, the top court asked Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shahbaz to stay “trustee” CM till Monday (July 25) and limited his powers, noting that if he appoints someone against merit, it will be considered null and void.

The entry of all political leaders to the Supreme Court has been banned for the hearing on the case related to the election of the Punjab chief minister.

Strict security arrangements are in place in and around the apex court. A police force is stationed outside courtroom number one, while registered beat reporters from the media are allowed to enter courtroom number one.

Apart from this, only parties to the case will be allowed to enter courtroom number one. Court proceedings can be heard through speakers in rooms six and seven of the SC.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz while criticizing judges of the Supreme Court on Monday said that impact of apex court’s verdicts stays for decades.

Maryam Nawaz along with the coalition government was addressing a press conference in federal capital ahead of hearing by the apex court on Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s petition challenging the Punjab Assembly deputy speaker’s ruling.

Maryam Nawaz said that said she can write the entire history of the judiciary, just one wrong decision destroys all the cases, if you make the right decision, no matter how much you are being criticized.

The PML-N said that when Hamza Shahbaz Sharif won the election, PTI took the petitions to the Supreme Court registry. On this, the registrar said, sit here and prepare the petition now.

“One or two judges, who have always been anti-PML-N and anti-government, they are repeatedly included in the bench,” she said.

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