Mazari issues reasons for rejecting PML-Q votes

Deputy Speaker cites SC's May 17, ECP’s May 20 orders in Punjab CM election case


Hasnaat Malik July 25, 2022
Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Dost Muhammad Mazari. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari on Sunday issued detailed reasons for rejecting 10 Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) votes which paved the way for Hamza Shehbaz to retain the post of the provincial chief minister during the elections held on July 22 (Friday).

In the two-page written reasons – a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the deputy speaker referred to SC's May 17 as well as ECP’s May 20 orders wherein 25 MPAs were de-seated by the latter on the directions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan.

"I have also considered the contents of directions of the party head of the PTI, which formed the basis of de-seating of 25 members and exclusion of their votes from the tally of vote count of April 16," the deputy speaker said.

“Based on the judgment of the Supreme Court, various petitions were filed before the Lahore High Court. A five-member LHC bench decided the petitions vide order dated June 30 and directed to exclude the votes of 25 members who violated the directions and voted in favour of Hamza.

“Consequently, today’s election was held between Hamza and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who were the contesting candidates in the elections previously held on April 16. As per the results in terms of the procedure laid down in the Second Schedule, Hamza polled 179 votes whereas Elahi received 186 votes.”

He said that he received directions issued by Chaudhary Shujaat Hussian to PML-Q MPAs to vote in favour of Hamza.

“Considering the events, material, orders/judgments of the courts, I am of the opinion that the votes of members of the provincial assembly of the Punjab, belonging to the PML-Q, are in violation of the directions of the party head, therefore these votes are liable to be excluded from the final count of the votes in view of the judgments of the Supreme Court, LHC and ECP.”

The deputy speaker also quoted a relevant part of the order passed by the ECP in this regard.

“Keeping in view the above, we are of the view that the casting of votes by the respondent in favour of opposing candidates is a serious issue and worst form of betraying the electorate and party’s policy. Therefore, we hold that the defection in the subject cases shall not depend upon strict proof of observations of pre-requisites as provided in Article 63A.”

Mazari said that the decision of the ECP to uphold the declaration was based on the violation of directions issued by Imran Khan and communicated to the members by PTI Secretary Asad Umar. The decision shows that directions could be issued by party head which was upheld by the ECP, the detailed ruling said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz demanded of the Supreme Court to constitute a full court to decide the fate of Punjab Assembly deputy speaker’s ruling wherein votes of 10 Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) MPAs were rejected.

Hamza will submit a concise statement in the apex court through his counsel Mansoor Usman Awan today (Monday).

A three-judge special bench of the apex court led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar will resume the hearing on PTI candidate Elahi’s plea against the deputy speaker’s ruling.

The draft of CM Hamza’s concise statement is available with The Express Tribune.

The statement says that the review petition against the SC majority judgment on the interpretation of Article 63A of the Constitution as well as appeal against the ECP’s decision regarding the de-seating of 25 MPAs should be heard along with this matter.

Hamza says a full court should be constituted to hear matters related to interpretation of Article 63A of the Constitution.

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