Compliance failure: Contempt notice issued to K-P assembly speaker

PHC also issues notices to respondents if Senate elections should be suspended


Hidayat Khan March 03, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assembly speaker drew heat from the high court after a member-elect could not be administered the oath for his reserved seat.

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Friday issued a notice for contempt of court to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser for failing to comply with court orders. Moreover, a notice was issued to respondents to explain why the Senate elections may not be suspended.

The court further warned that the Senate elections, scheduled to be held on March 3 (today) may be suspended, if a satisfactory reply was not filed in the case by March 6.

The court issued the notice while hearing a contempt of court application filed by Kumar.

Submitting through his lawyer Muhib Jan Salarzai, Kumar told the two-member bench of the PHC comprising Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Muhammad Ayub, that the respondents were deliberately and intentionally avoiding directions of the court by not calling the petitioner to the assembly to administer the oath of MPA.

“Not honouring the court order constitutes contempt and the respondents are liable to be punished under the law,” he urged the court.

Salarzai further told the court that respondents including K-P government spokesperson Shah Farman, MPAs Mehmood Bethani, Arbab Jahandad, Maulana Lutfur Rahman and Maulana Fazali Ghafoor were not allowing Kumar to take the oath. He complained that these men had abused him and even threw shoes at him when he was produced in the assembly on court orders.

He added that if his oath was not taken on time, he would be deprived of his right to vote in the Senate elections.

Since the court hearing was being conducted at the same time as the K-P assembly session, the court gave the government two hours to explain whether they are ready to administer the oath to Kumar in the ongoing assembly session.

When the government could not furnish a clear reply within the stipulated time along with the information that Kumar was not presented in the assembly on Friday to take the oath, it angered Justice Ikramullah.

He remarked that there will be no Senate elections in K-P until Kumar takes oath as a member of the assembly.

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

“There will be no Senate elections in K-P until Kumar has taken his oath and court orders are upheld,” the court further said.

The court also issued a notice to other MPAs, who were listed as respondents in the case, and warned them that the Senate elections in K-P may be suspended.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2018.

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