No Senate elections in K-P until Baldev Kumar takes oath, PHC observes

High court slammed K-P assembly speaker with contempt notice over failure to take Kumar under oath


Sohail Khattak/hidayat Khan March 02, 2018
Baldev Kumar was escorted out of the K-P Assembly by the security officials. SCREENGRAB

Justice Ikram Ullah Khan of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday, issued directives stating that there will be no Senate elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) until lawmaker Baldev Kumar takes oath as a member of the assembly.

"We have not just directed you to produce him but to take his oath as member of the K-P assembly," Justice Ikramullah said.

"There will be no Senate elections in K-P until Kumar has taken his oath and court orders is upheld," the court remarked.

Kumar's lawyer Muhib Jan Salarzai appeared before the court and argued that though the court had issued directives, Kumar was not allowed in the assembly and his oath was not taken.

Salarzai added that Senate election is to be held on Saturday but so far he hasn't taken an oath as member of the K-P Assembly.

PTI MPA hurls shoe, lawmakers verbally abuse Baldev Kumar in K-P assembly

PHC slams Speaker K-P assembly speaker with contempt notice

The PHC on Friday, issued a contempt of court notice to Speaker of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Asad Qaiser for not conducting oath taking of Baldev Kumar as member of the assembly despite PHC's directives.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Muhammad Ayub also issused notices to the respondents in the case; lawmakers and members of assembly Arbab Jahandad, Shah Farman, Mehmood Bethani, Maulana Lutfur Rahman and Mualana Fazali Ghafoor and warned them that Senate elections in K-P may be suspended.

Qaiser is directed to submit a reply till March 6.

Baldev Kumar submitted contempt of court case against Qaiser, urged that court orders are not being followed. He added that Senate election is scheduled for March 3 but still Kumar is not allowed to take oath and participate in the voting.

PHOTO: EXPRESS PHOTO: EXPRESS

K-P Assembly's session

Earlier, the speaker issued production orders of Baldev Kumar on Friday, his oath taking ceremony was added in the house agenda for the day as an additional item.

The assembly sitting was called on Friday, by the speaker at 11 am and shortly after the recitation of the Holly Quran, Qaiser announced and called in Baldev Kumar for oath taking.

The Speaker summoned Kumar thrice to stand up for the oath. However, Kumar did not show up as he was not brought into the Assembly at the time. The lawmakers then started protesting saying that they would not let the speaker to take Oath from Baldev Kumar.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Mehmood Jan and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentary leader Sardar Aurangzeb Nalota said that they would boycott the sitting if Baldev was brought for the oath.

Kumar is an accused in the murder of Sardar Suran Singh, former member of K-P assembly and is presently in jail.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued a notification of the minority vacant seat in the K-P Assembly. Baldev was on PTI's priority lists which was submitted to the ECP in the 2013 general elections which dictates that Kumar has to be sworn in as member of K-P Assembly after Singh on the minority seat.

He was produced in the assembly in its Tuesday sitting after the Speaker issued his production order upon the directions of the PHC, but Kumar was unable to take the oath as lawmakers boycotted the sitting and broke the quorum as they did today (Friday), forcing the speaker to adjourn the sitting.

The lawmakers even tried to attack Kumar who was brought in chains from prison. PTI lawmaker Arbab Jahandad had hurled a shoe at him and other lawmakers threw copies of the agenda at him after which the assembly security rushed him out of the house.

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Now, the speaker has prorogued the session and Kumar's oath is yet to be taken. Unless the oath is taken, he cannot cast his vote in the Senate Elections which are scheduled to be held in the K-P Assembly on Saturday (tomorrow) for the 11 seats of K-P.

In today's sitting, PTI lawmaker Mehmood Jan said, "Suran Singh was a member of the assembly and he was the beauty of this house but he was killed for his seat to be vacated and this person Baldev Kumar is accused in his murder. We cannot sit in the house with him." He asked the support of all the lawmakers for the boycott and they accompanied him pointing out the incomplete quorum.

Lawmaker Sardar Aurangzeb Nalota said that a dangerous precedent would be set if Baldev is allowed for oath and lives of lawmakers in the house come under severe threat. The Speaker, after the protest, counted the number of the lawmakers present in house and found the quorum incomplete after which he announced that the session is prorogued till further orders.

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