LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday sought appearance of counsels for arguments on a letter written by President Asif Zardari to the National Assembly speaker to constitute a parliamentary commission for new province in Punjab.
When Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan resumed hearing on Monday, Additional Attorney General Abdul Hayee Gilani appeared before the court on behalf of the federal government. He submitted a copy of the presidential letter to make it part of the court record.
The court will take the matter on February 13 (tomorrow).
A group of lawyers has challenged the formation of parliamentary commission and its recommendations for inclusion of Mianwali district into proposed Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab (BJP).
The petitioners through Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique had contended that neither the constitution nor the rules of business allowed national assembly speaker to form a commission on new provinces’ subject. They said inclusion of Mianwali district in proposed BJP province was against the will of the local citizens.
They pointed out that the Punjab Assembly had passed two resolutions on the subject matter and demanded the restoration of Bahawalpur province instead of creation of new one.
They said the incumbent rulers had no mandate for creation of a new provinces and such act will amount to upset administration system of whole country. They said article 239 of the constitution empowered the parliament only to change geographical limits of provinces.
Petitioners said people in Mianwali had been observing protests against the recommendations of the ‘illegal’ parliamentary commission. They said the situation might get worse if the recommendations of the commission were not suspended.
Vehari poll plea dismissed: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial on Monday let the Election Commission (EC) hold by-elections in PP-239, Vehari by ruling that the court cannot interfere in its matters.
The chief justice disposed of the petition challenging the election in the constituency scheduled for February 18 by the ECP.
The chief justice observed that it was the election commission which would decide to hold the election but not the courts.
On the orders of the courts, Punjab election commissioner SM Tariq Qadri submitted his written reply stating that the ECP was going to hold the by-polls by taking into consideration the fact that the constitution does not envisage by election if a vacancy in an assembly occurs 119-days or less before expiry of its term. “The seat falls vacant on November 27 due to demise of MPA Sardar Muhammad Khan Khichi, 131 days before the completion of the tenure of the assembly,” the added.
He said however due to some administrative issues the EC could not announce the schedule early.
During last hearing, a deputy attorney general had submitted that the people of any constituency could not be deprived of their right of representation where there would be matter of constitutional amendment.
Muhammad Ashfaq, resident of the constituency, had challenged holding on by-polls by submitting that ECP had issued a notification for holding by-polls in the electorate on February 18. While, under article 224(4) of the constitution the by-polls could not be held before 90 days of the general election, they pointed out.
VERDICT RESERVED: The LHC reserved verdict on a petition seeking disqualification of PML-N MNA Javed Latif for contesting 2008 elections on fake graduation degree.
Syed Sajjad Hussain, a voter from NA-133 constituency of Sheikhupura district, had sought the disqualification of MNA by filing a writ petition through Advocate Noshab A Khan.
In arguments, the counsel said Javed Latif involved in the case of impersonation as he had not appeared in the examination for obtaining BA degree from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) University. He said the respondent MNA had not appeared in the exam but another name fellow did this.
He pointed out that a three member committee headed by a sessions judge of AJK had also hold the degree bogus while vice chancellor of AJK university had also directed the syndicate of the varsity to immediately cancel the degree.
He requested the court to disqualify the respondent from assembly membership and direct Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Counsel of the MNA argued that Higher Education Commission (HEC) had verified the impugned degree of Javed Latif. He requested the court to dismiss the petition.
Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan heard arguments and reserved the verdict.