Govt, Allies Want SC Full Bench To Hear Elahi, SCBA's Pleas.

LAHORE/Islamabad -- Federal Minister for Law Azam Nazir Tarar Sunday demanded of the Supreme Court of Pakistan that a larger bench or full court should hear the case of deputy speaker's ruling in respect of Punjab chief minister's election along with the review petition of the Supreme Court Bar Association about interpretation of Article 63-A of the Constitution.

Addressing a joint press conference along with Punjab Home Minister Attaullah Tarar, the federal law minister said that chief justice should assign its hearing to a full bench as it was an issue concerning the elected chief minister of 120 million people of Punjab.

'The Supreme Court Bar and the civil society have demanded that the hearing of these cases should be held together by the full court. Prominent lawyers including Latif Afridi, Yasin Azad, Fazal Haq Abbas, Qalb-e-Hussain and Ahsan Bhoon have also termed it a serious and sensitive issue which was taken up earlier by 8-member and 5-member benches', he maintained.

Azam Nazir said that political circumstances had reached such a point that several constitutional issues needed to be resolved.

Rejecting the allegations about any campaign against the institutions, the federal minister made it clear that the PML-N respected the institutions including the judiciary. 'People know full well which party is an expert in trending or launching campaigns against the national and constitutional institutions', he remarked.

He alleged that a private channel was developing a baseless perception against the PML-N that it was running a campaign against the courts.

Giving background of the deputy speaker's ruling, he said that the president of Pakistan had sent a reference to the Supreme Court for interpretation of Article 63-A before voting on a no-confidence motion against the then prime minister Imran Khan with the pleas that votes cast against the directions of the party head should not be counted.

The SC did not give a stay order and the proceedings of no-confidence were completed, he added. 'Later, during election of the Punjab chief minister, the split 3-2 judgment was given that the votes cast against the directions of the party leader would not be counted, and, consequently, 25 votes cast in favour of Hamza Shehbaz were not counted. On Friday, in the run-off election for the Punjab chief minister slot, the votes of 10 members of the PML-Q, who had cast their votes against the directions of the party head, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, were...

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