(L to R) Justice Munib Akhtar, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan.

The Supreme Court on Saturday summoned the deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly “to explain how he understood and enunciated the court’s order on presidential reference on Article 63 (A) of the Constitution,” while giving ruling during chief minister’s election.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court is hearing the PTI and PML-Q joint petition against Deputy Speaker Dost Mazari’s ruling in the Punjab chief minister’s election at Lahore registry.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, summoned the deputy speaker to appear before it at 2 pm. The bench also summoned the Punjab advocate general, and if he is absent, his deputy, chief secretary and Hamza Shehbaz.

The deputy speaker on Friday night rejected 10 votes of the PML-Q members, citing the apex court’s opinion in the presidential reference for the interpretation of Article 63A, dealing a major blow to Pervaiz Elahi and paving the way for Hamza to retain the chief minister’s post.

Opposition (PTI and PML-Q) candidate Elahi managed to receive 186 votes, but after the deputy speaker’s ruling, the PML-Q leader got only 176 votes, whereas Hamza received 179 votes.

The petition was filed late last night after the opposition, which was confident of a victory, suffered the setback and vowed to challenge the ruling.

SC ORDER: The Supreme Court of Pakistan in May, had ruled that the votes of dissident members of the parliament (MPs), cast against their parliamentary party’s directives, cannot be counted.

The apex court, issuing its verdict on the presidential reference seeking the interpretation of Article 63(A) of the Constitution related to defecting lawmakers of the PTI, said that the law cannot be interpreted in isolation.

During yesterday’s ruling, Article 63(A) was applied after PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain wrote a letter to the deputy speaker, saying that he had directed the party to vote for Hamza.

The ruling has invited criticism from law experts as several believe that Mazari’s decision was not in line with the Supreme Court’s order.

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