Elahi restored as Punjab CM after assuring LHC he will not dissolve provincial assembly – Pakistan



The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday reinstated PML-Q leader Chaudhry Parvez Elahi as the Punjab chief minister after he submitted an undertaking assuring that he would not dissolve the provincial assembly until the next hearing.

The court issued the directives as a five-member bench took up Elahi’s plea challenging Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman’s orders to de-notify him as the provincial chief executive.

On Thursday night, the Punjab governor sprang into action and denotified Elahi as chief minister of the largest province in a bid to forestall ousted premier Imran Khan’s plan to dissolve the Punjab Assembly (PA).

In his order dated Dec 22, the governor said that since the chief minister had refrained from taking a vote of confidence at the appo­i­nted day and time, he ceased to hold the office. Rehman, however, asked Elahi to continue working as chief minister until his successor takes charge.

Subsequently, Elahi approached the court earlier today, saying the move was “unconstitutional, unlawful and of no legal effect”.

The hearing was put off for an hour after the court asked Elahi’s counsel, Barrister Ali Zafar, to seek an assurance from his client with regards to not dissolving the assembly.

When the hearing resumed Elahi, through his counsel, submitted an undertaking wherein he said he would not dissolve the provincial assembly until the next hearing.

“If me and my cabinet are reinstated, then I will not send the assembly dissolution summary to the governor till the next hearing,” the undertaking, which was read aloud by Zafar in the courtroom, said.

sprung into action to prevent Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi from dissolving the Punjab Assembly.

In a double-edged move on Monday, the Punjab governor asked the chief minister to obtain a vote of confidence from the Punjab Assembly, while PML-N and PPP lawmakers submitted a separate no-trust resolution against him in a bid to bar him from dissolving the assembly.

However, Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan 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 Articles 54(3) and 127. No fresh session can be convened unless and until the current one ends,” the order read.

Subsequently, on Wednesday, the Punjab governor termed the speaker’s ruling “unconstitutional”.

In his order, the governor said under Article 130(7) of the Constitution that PA speaker’s ruling had no bearing on his order and termed it unconstitutional. The governor said the speaker’s ruling was also in violation of Rule 209 of the Rules of Procedure of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, 1997.

Lawyers reached by Dawn for their comments differ on the governor’s orders issued to the chief minister, they were unanimous that a legal battle appears to be the only way forward for the resolution of the current crisis in Punjab.

In a late-night move on Thursday, the governor de-notified Elahi. In an order, he said: “Consequent to the facts that Ch. Parvez Elahi … refrained from obtaining the vote of confidence at 1600 hours yesterday (Wednesday), in line with an order under Article 130(7) of the Constitution … issued under my hand on Dec 19, 2022, in line with Rule 22(7) of the Rules of Procedure of provincial assembly of Punjab, 1997, and that he still has not done so even after the lapse of another 24 hours, I am satisfied that he does not command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Punjab Assembly, and therefore ceases to hold his office with immediate effect.”

As a result, “the provincial cabinet stands dissolved forthwith”, he said.

In terms of Article 133 of the Constitution, Mr Elahi, “former Punjab CM, is hereby asked to continue to hold office until his successor enters upon the office of the chief minister”, the governor said.

However, it remains to be seen whether the governor’s late-night order will hold the field or not.



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