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Thursday June 20, 2024

Continuation of Punjab caretaker govt challenged in LHC

By Asim Hussain
May 23, 2023

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday issued notices to the federal government, Punjab governor and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on a petition challenging the continuation of the caretaker government in Punjab beyond the constitutional mandate of 90 days. Justice Shahid Karim, hearing the petition by former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, also sought assistance from the attorney general for Pakistan on the question of the continuation of a caretaker government if the general elections were not held within 90 days.

Petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique argued that a caretaker government would cease to exist if it failed to hold the election within the constitutional mandate of 90 days. He claimed that the previous elected chief minister would stand restored automatically if the caretaker government did not hold the election within the constitutionally stipulated time period. The counsel requested the court to restrain Punjab caretaker CM Mohsin Naqvi from working as being unconstitutional after the lapse of 90 days and issue an appropriate direction to run the day-to-day operations of the province under the supervision of the high court.

The Punjab assistant advocate general questioned the maintainability of the petition and stated that a similar petition had already been dismissed by an LHC judge. Justice Shahid Karim observed that the court was not issuing a notice to the caretaker government and would see the matter according to the Constitution, before adjourning the proceedings for next week.