Counsel for Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari, Irfan Qadir, on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that he would not proceed in the case on the instruction of his client. He would instead file a review petition against the court’s decision not to constitute a full bench.

The ruling coalition on Monday night decide to boycott the proceedings of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s plea against the ruling of deputy speaker who rejected 10 PML-Q members votes during re-election of chief minister on July 22.

After rejecting the government’s plea for a full court bench on Monday, the Supreme Court resumed hearing shortly after 11:30 am. Lawyers for both sides had arrived in the court before the start of hearing.

After Irfan Qadir’s statement, PPP lawyer Farooq Naek came to the rostrum to announce his boycott, but the CJP told him that he was not a party to the case.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar, will hear arguments on the ruling of Punjab Assembly Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Mohammad Mazari, which proved to be instrumental to Hamza Shehbaz’s victory.

During the election, Mazari had decided against counting the votes of 10 PML-Q lawmakers, which were cast in Elahi’s favour, citing a letter written by party President Shujaat Hussain in which he had instructed them to vote for Hamza instead.

During the hearing on Saturday, the court had allowed Hamza — who was re-elected on July 22 — to remain “trustee” chief minister till July 25.

On Monday, the government requested the constitution of a full bench.

The plea was, however, rejected as the CJP ruled that the full court would mean the hearing of the case would not resume before September due to unavailability of judges amid current vacation.

“But we can’t allow such state of affairs to drag and prolong,” Justice Bandial had said.

Subsequently, to register its protest against the SC’s decision, the ruling alliance in a late-night conference announced that it will boycott the judicial proceeding.

ELAHI’S PLEA: In his petition, Elahi has requested the court to hold the deputy speaker’s ruling leading to Hamza’s re-election as “bogus and false”.

“Hamza Shehbaz may kindly be declared disqualified as the Punjab chief minister/ member of the provincial assembly,” the petition read.

It requested the court to declare the deputy speaker’s decision to discard the votes of 10 PML-Q lawmakers on grounds of Article 63-A of the Constitution as “unconstitutional”.

Instead, the petition said, the court may declare Elahi the “lawful returned candidate” and the PML-Q leader be allowed to take oath as the Punjab chief minister.

The petition further stated that Hamza should be restrained from taking the oath as the chief minister. It is pertinent to mention that Hamza had already been administered the oath of office by Punjab Governor Baleeghur Rehman earlier on Friday.

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