Attaullah questions SC’s differential treatment of letters by Imran Khan, Chaudhry Shujaat

Says one is held in high esteem while the other is being questioned
<p>SAMAA TV/Screengrab file</p>

SAMAA TV/Screengrab file

Punjab minister and spokesperson of the Government of Punjab Attaullah Tarar has questioned the ruling of the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court to not grant a full court hearing for the case on Punjab CM elections.

The PMLN leader had stated that a full bench had heard the Rawalpindi Bar Council case and gave the verdict that the decision of the party head in elections will be given precedence over that of party members.

He was addressing the media outside the apex court in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Attaullah, who is also the Deputy Secretary General of PML-N, highlighted that the Rawalpindi Bar Council case was adjudicated by a bench comprising 12 judges of which eight judges had noted that the chief of a political party could steer the votes of his assembly members according to will in the purview of the 18th amendment.

The minister said that the issue arose when the letter of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was treated differently and contested in court while that of Imran Khan was respected and backed up through legal intervention.

“After the April 16 elections that resulted in Hamza Shehbaz bagging the seat of chief minister of Punjab with 197 votes, the Supreme Court ordered to de-seat 25 MPAs who voted in his favor,” he remarked, adding that the top court intervened and interpreted Article 63-A of the Constitution to dictate that the party chief, in this case, Imran Khan, had the right to steer all votes in favor of anyone he deemed fit.

“To uphold the court verdict, by-elections were held on 20 seats whereas new appointments were made on the five reserved seats,” he explained further.

Attaullah pointed out that after all these measures, a runoff election was organized in which once again Hamza Shehbaz was marked victorious following an order sent by PML-Q chief that resulted in cancellations votes of party members in favor of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

Although Elahi had bagged more votes compared to Hamza, 10 votes of PML-Q members were discarded by Punjab Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari in light of the SC verdict stating that the party chief maintains autonomy over the vote cast and therefore the direction given by Chaudhry Shujaat to vote against Elahi holds value.

The provincial minister contested that the judiciary was meting out differential treatment to letters of both party chiefs and working on fault lines.

“One letter is held in high esteem while the other is being questioned.”

He demanded that the top court formulates a full bench to clear the matter as opposed to the current bench composed of three SC judges.

Attaullah also said that for the first time in the history of the country, the incumbent SC Bar Council president alongside six past presidents posed a question to the apex court if one party chief’s letter is accepted, what makes the letter of another party chief inadmissible?

The legal counsels also said that the Rawalpindi Bar Council case was a full bench case and therefore in the said case of contention SC could form another full bench to pass an uncontestable verdict.

They added that proper legal arguments were given to the SC to formulate a full bench which was willfully ignored.

“This has now become a matter of honor for the court itself and if they form a full bench all reservations against the verdicts would be ruled out,” Attaullah concluded.

PTI

Supreme Court

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Punjab CM election

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