SC opens at midnight to entertain PML-Q challenge

LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: Following the unexpected turn of events at Friday’s session of the Punjab Assembly, the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court was opened at midnight on the directions of Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Atta Bandial, who was present in the city, to entertain a petition filed by the PML-Q.

Lahore Registry Deputy Registrar Ejaz Goraya and other staff reached the registry around midnight, and the petition was filed by PML-Q lawyer Amir Saeed Rawn.

Earlier, both PTI and PML-Q had announced their intention to challenge the contentious ruling of Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, declaring Hamza Shehbaz as the elected chief minister of Punjab.

“We will challenge the controversial ruling of the deputy speaker because we believe it is against the spirit of Article 63A of the Constitution, as well as the ruling of the Supreme Court in the presidential reference seeking interpretation of Article 63A,” senior Advocate Faisal Fareed

A few days ago, Faisal Fareed had moved a contempt of the court petition against Hamza Shehbaz and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan — on behalf of Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi — before the apex court for violating the July 1 apex court directions.

Hamza had given an undertaking before the court not to take any measure that could be construed as harassment of the political opponents.

However Faisal Fareed said PTI’s legal team would decide whether they will invoke Article 199 or Article 184(3) of the Constitution, adding that the challenge would be laid before the courts in a day or two.

He said that in case the party decided to invoke Article 199, then they would definitely approach the Lahore High Court, otherwise a challenge under Article 184(3) would be laid before the Supreme Court as the deputy speaker’s ruling went against the decision of the apex court.

But PTI leader and former minister Fawad Chaudhry, who was in the middle of a huddle with party leaders when he spoke to Dawn, said PTI may file a petition before the Supreme Court as soon as possible.

Following the assembly session on Friday night, Parvez Elahi and PML-Q and PTI MPAs also gathered outside the SC registry, where workers of both parties chanted slogans in favour of Mr Elahi.

The charged workers even tried to enter the registry building by climbing over its wall.

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