Justice Justice Umar Ata Bandial of Lahore High Court said that ex-parte proceeding will be initiated against PML-N leaders accused of forcing Shumaila Rana to resign, if they did not submit a response by the next date of hearing.
Earlier, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif denied that any pressure was brought on former MPA Shumaila Rana to resign from her assembly membership. In a written reply, secretary to CM said, “Neither any pressure was exerted on Shumaila for tendering resignation, nor was she or her family harassed in any manner.”
The court had sought replies from PML-N leaders, allegedly accused of unlawfully pressing former MPA Shumaila Rana to resign over a credit card theft case against her. Replies were sought from Senior Advisor to CM, Zulfiqar Khosa, Senator Pervaiz Rasheed and MNAs Pervaiz Malik and Raja Ashfaq Sarwar. Additional Law Secretary Naseem Sadiq was also directed to submit his response.
Shumaila Rana has alleged that the PML-N leadership forced her to resign while she was accused of a crime. She said that the trial court had subsequently acquitted her in the case but meanwhile she had been deprived of her seat in the assembly.
Secretary to Chief Minister Muhammad Ajmal, Additional Law Secretary Naseem Sadiq and Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal Ahmed are also respondents in the case.
She alleged that armed men were sent to her house to intimidate her into resigning.
The judge expressed displeasure at non-submission of a reply by PML-N leaders despite earlier orders and said that ex-parte proceedings would be initiated against them if they do not respond to the court by the next date of hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2011.
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