ISLAMABAD Suspending the apex court order of February 25 that had barred Sharif brothers from holding any public office, the Supreme Court on Tuesday reinstated Mian Shahbaz Sharifs Government in Punjab. The five-member bench of Supreme Court headed by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani granted a stay order against the apex courts February 25 verdict and restored Mian Shahbaz Sharif as Chief Minister Punjab with immediate effect. The stay order was granted to Mian Shahbaz Sharif on a writ filed through Khawaja Haris till the disposal of main petition. The bench also announced that the operation of judgement shall be suspended and the petitioner shall resume the office of Chief Minister of Punjab with immediate effect. We direct that till the final disposal of the main petition under review the operation on 25-2-2009 judgment shall remain suspended and the petitioner shall assume the office of the Chief Minister with immediate effect, the order of the court said. Granting the stay order on apex courts February 25 decision, the Supreme Court larger bench headed by Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani and comprising Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, Justice Moosa K Leghari, Justice Sheikh Hakim Ali and Justice Sabihuddin in its verdict said that Shahbaz Sharif would continue serving as Chief Minister Punjab till the apex courts hearing and decision into disqualification case. The operation of the February 25 order has been suspended, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani told the court allowing Shahbaz Sharif, who was Chief Minister of Punjab, to resume office. It is noted that the larger bench had served notices to stakeholders on applications filed against the decision of the disqualification and summoned them on Tuesday. It is to be mentioned here that on February 25, a three-member bench comprising Justice Musa K Leghari, Justice Sakhi Hussain Bukhari and Justice Sheikh Hakim Ali had disqualified Sharif brothers from holding elected office on the grounds relating to past convictions. After their disqualification last month Sharif brothers had refused to file any petition or be represented in the courts comprising judges who had taken oath of allegiance to Musharraf under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) he had promulgated on November 3 last year after imposing emergency. After the reinstatement of the deposed judges Sharif brothers decided to approach the Supreme Court against their disqualification. Advocates Abid Hassan Manto and Khawaja Haris filed the petitions on behalf of Sharif brothers requesting the court to review the judgment against their disqualification. Khawaja Haris counsel for Mian Shahbaz Sharif arguing the case requested the court to grant the stay on the judgment as if the new Chief Minster is elected in Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif could not become the Chief Minister again due to a constitutional bar. When the court sought the assistance of Attorney General, Sardar Latif Khosa on the issue, he said that if the court in future declared Mian Shahbaz Sharif as eligible to contest the election even then he could become the Chief Minster and that term would not be considered his third term. Ahmad Raza Qasuri, the defending counsel opposed the request for the stay order saying that interim relief could not be granted in the review petition. He also filed an application with the court against the constitution of the larger bench saying that according to the Supreme Court Rules the same bench that had delivered the judgment should hear the review. However, the bench dismissed the application. Qasuri said that the court could not grant stay against the proceedings of the Provincial Assembly. The five-member bench verdict of Tuesday has returned Shahbaz Sharif to his post as Chief Minister of Punjab, but it does not end court proceedings of the review petitions against Sharifs ineligibility. The government on March 19 filed appeals against the disqualification verdict of Sharifs. The hearing of the review petitions on Sharifs disqualification has been adjourned till the second week of May. The supreme court has suspended the February 25 decision, Senator Syed Zafar Ali Shah, a lawyer and leader in Sharifs Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party told reporters outside the court, adding that in its unanimous decision the bench had allowed Shahbaz to remain the member of Punjab Assembly and to hold the office of Chief Minister of Punjab. With the announcement of the decision of stay order by the Supreme Court, a large number of PML-N workers and leaders gathered at SC premises and started chanting slogans in favour of PML-Q Quaids and also distributed sweets among the lawyers, media men and party workers. Welcoming the historic verdict of Supreme Court, PML-N leaders at Supreme Court premises underlined that real democracy and political stability would flourish in the country. Pakistan Muslim League-N leaders including Javed Hashmi, Khawaja Asif, Raja Zafar ul Haq and others talking to media immediately after SC decision amid loud slogans in favour of Mian brothers lauded the restoration of Punjab Government and said that it was in line with the peoples aspirations. They were of the view that the Supreme Court verdict had fulfilled expectations of the nation. They said any future political reconciliation between the two parties in Punjab now depended on the PPPs policies.