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Tuesday November 29, 2022

LHC directs President Alvi to appoint representative to administer oath to Hamza Shahbaz

LHC CJ says that governor cannot refuse to administer oath; issues directives to court office to inform president

April 22, 2022
President Arif Alvi. -The News/File
President Arif Alvi. -The News/File

LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Ameer Bhatti Friday directed President Arif Alvi to nominate a representative to administer the oath to chief minister-elect Hamza Shahbaz.

The LHC CJ stated that the governor cannot refuse to administer oath and issued directives to the court office to inform the president.

Justice Ameer Bhatti had earlier adjourned the hearing till 2pm and asked Advocate General Punjab Ahmed Owais to give in writing the reasons behind the governor's refusal.

The LHC heard the petition filed by newly elected CM Hamza Shahbaz against the governor’s refusal to fulfil his constitutional duty.

At the outset of today’s proceedings, Ahmed Owais said that the speaker can administer the oath if the governor refuses but the Punjab Assembly speaker has not been made a party in the petition.

The provincial law officer argued before the LHC chief justice that the governor is of the view that the election of the chief minister was not held under the Constitution. At this, CJ asked AG to tell where it was written that the governor himself would witness the proceedings?

In response, the advocate general said that the governor is not a rubber stamp, an extraordinary situation took place on April 16 which had never happened before, a female member was injured and she is now fighting for her life.

The CJ remarked, “whether this incident will nullify the proceedings of the House, today is the 21st day that there is no government in the province while this election was also held on the orders of the court, this court knows how the election took place. The governor should tell if he is absent or he cannot administer the oath.”

Advocate General Ahmed Awais told the court that the governor has refused to administer the oath. At this, the chief justice asked him to give this in writing that the governor has refused to administer the oath so that the court can ask someone else to do the job.

The court said that if the governor does not make a decision, the court will issue an order.

“Today, 21 days have passed and there is no government in the province. The governor of Punjab is not fulfilling his constitutional obligations. If the governor does not write a letter of refusal, the court will issue an order at 2pm.”