LAHORE - The Lahore High Court Thursday ruled that the speaker could not hold a disqualification reference against a member because he is constitutional bound to send it to chief election commissioner, observing that speaker has limited powers and he cannot decide the reference on merit.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial, however, ruled speaker could ascertain and examine the Locus Standi of the sending party, disagreeing with point that speaker has the only role of post office.
The court passed this order while partially accepting a constitutional petition against speaker who was not forwarding reference against PLM-Q MPA Saba Sadiq to CEC.
Leader of opposition in Punjab assembly Ch Zaheer-ud-Din, also PML-Q secretary general had filed petition seeking directions to the Speaker Punjab Assembly to forward a reference to election commission for the disqualification of MPA Saba Sadiq for defecting from her party.
The Petitioner had approached the court after the Speaker PA declined to send disqualification reference against PML-Q MPA Saba Sadiq's to election commission.
He had also submitted that the Speaker was bound to send such a reference to the election commission, which had to decide it after holding judicial proceedings.
He said the speaker had to forward the reference to the election commission, as he had no authority to decide the legality or merit of the reference.
Earlier the court had disposed of the same petition while directing the petitioner to file reference again before the speaker after removing the objection for which the same was not forwarded to election commission.
Later the petitioner filed a fresh petition submitting that in the light of court's earlier directions the reference against Saba Sadiq was filed before the speaker but the same was forwarded to election commission.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 13-Mar-2009 here.