Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi
Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court in a much-anticipated order Tuesday evening turned down Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker’s ruling and declared Hamza Shehbaz was no more chief minister of the province.

According to the court’s order Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi is the new chief minister of the province.

The three three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial in an 11-page short order also set aside the cabinet division’s notification of Hamza Shehbaz as Chief Minister and all the provincial ministers who took oath of the office a day earlier.

Bandial read out the decision and directed Governor of Punjab Baligh-ur-Rehman to administer oath to Pervaiz Elahi as CM of the province.

In case, Governor Punjab fails to administer oath, President Arif Alvi has been directed to do the same, the court further directed. All the appointments and steps taken by Hamza Shehbaz in the meanwhile have also been termed null and void.

Marathon hearing

Earlier, the apex court on Tuesday held marathon proceeding and prolonged deliberation before announcing the verdict on the petition of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader and a candidate for the office of Punjab’s Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi who had challenged Punjab’s Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari’s ruling in July 22 election.

Deputy Speaker Mazari had announced in favour of Hamza Shehbaz who gained 179 votes against 186 votes of Pervaiz Elahi.

According to Deputy Speaker’s ruling Elahi’s 10 votes stood rejected because his party, the PML-Q’s President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain in a letter had conveyed to the Deputy Speaker that he had directed his 10 MPs not to vote for Pervaiz Elahi.

Earlier on Monday, the bench whose two other members included Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Muneeb Akhtar had turned down a set of petitions filed by the ruling coalition partners for formation of a full court bench to hear the case.

Chief Justice Umar Atta Bandial-led bench turned down the petitions in a short order observing no legal ground was presented by the coalition partners adding the detailed reasons would be issued later.

Immediately after the court rejected the petitions seeking full court bench, the ruling coalition partners announced to boycott the proceedings of the Supreme Court in protest against the rejection of their plea for full court to hear the case.

The party leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Muttahid Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), Awami National Party (ANP), Balochistan National Party (BNP), Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) and even the independent members at a joint press conference questioned why there was a perception that all the cases of political import were heard and decided by only a ‘particular’ bench of the Supreme Court.

President of the multiple parties’ alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Senior Vice President of the PML-N and former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others held they would not be able to participate in the proceedings if a full court bench was not formed to hear the case.